Bones, fossils or rocks?

Bones, fossils or rocks?

In the spring of 1999, some members of the Al Ain chapter of the Emirates Natural History Group came across some remarkable formations in Fossil Valley, just outside Buraimi.

Some believed the formations could, in fact, be fossils. Judging by the size, the animal would have been very large.

There was some dispute, however, whether the formations were, in fact, fossil remains or simply odd rock formations. To sort out the question, photographs and measurements were taken and the information forwarded to Dr. Peter Whybrow at the British Natural History Museum in London, England.

Dr. Whybrow and his colleagues had been in the United Arab Emirates years ago to study fossils in the Al Ain district and Ibrahim Zakhour calculated that Dr. Whybrow would be the most appropriate individual to resolve the issue. The text below is Dr. Whybrow's reply.

"I regret to report that, except for one photograph, all the others that look like a bone are, in fact, the remains of a sedimentary concretion. There does not seem to be any bone structure on any of the breaks. Sorry about this. The other photograph does appear to be a section through the coils of a large marine snail. I am posting to you a publication on the work by my colleagues carried out in the Al Hajar area. This has maps and pictures of fossils and I'm sure you will recognize some of them."


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