Iran, a paradise for paleontology … for how long?


Indricotherium skeleton

This picture shows the skeleton of an indricotherium (or baluchitherium).

From Iran Daily:

Iran, a Paradise for Paleontology

By Sadeq Dehqan

Millions of years ago, long before there were any humans, there were dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were one of several prehistoric reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era or the ’Age of Reptiles’. …

Iran is an important country for paleontology, with fossil-rich regions such as Maragheh, Varzaghan and Kerman. In the last two years, Iranian experts have found fossils of gigantic animals dating back to over one million years ago.

Kerman province has long been called the fossil paradise of Iran because many fossils from different geological periods have been found there. Also some pieces of dinosaur bones have been found in Maragheh, West Azarbaijan province.

In this region, experts have so far been able to identify fossils of aquatics from the first geological period, fossils of dinosaurs from the Jurassic period, and fossils of mammals dating back to the third geological period.
Dr. Esmail Kahrom, an environmentalist and wildlife expert, has conducted extensive research on dinosaur remains in some parts of Iran including the oil-rich regions of Asalouyeh, in Bushehr province.

“Fossil fuels are formed over millions of years from the fossils, or remains, of dead animals and plants. The fossils are buried under soil and rock. Heat from the earth and pressure from the soil and rock changes these fossils into oil, natural gas, and coal,“ he said.
He pointed out that fossil fuels are the same as dinosaur fuel since some traces of dinosaurs have been spotted in the oil-rich region of Iran. …

Pointing to the status of Iran Plateau during the dinosaur era, Kahrom said Iran was out of water during the Jurassic era … and we expect to find more fossilized dinosaurs in this country. “Footprints of dinosaurs, referred to as Camptosaurus, have been located in Kerman province.“

Camptosaurus is a Jurassic-age plant-eating dinosaur and a primitive Iguanodontid. Camptosaurus grew to a length of 23 ft. (7 m),“ Kahrom stated.
“Fossils of giant sea creatures–the ancestors of present-day whales–have been found during geological studies in Chabahar and the Persian Gulf,“ he said, adding that professional excavations will help unravel the secrets of underground.
According to him, Iran was the habitat of Baluchitherium, the largest land mammal ever to have lived.

How much of this will remain if George W. Bush will attack Iran? If one looks at what happens in Iraq; and threats by US armed forces to both cultural treasures in Iran; and dinosaur remains in the USA itself?

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