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Morocco Unveils 515 Million Year Old ‘Underwater Pompeii’

Morocco Unveils 515 Million Year Old ‘Underwater Pompeii’

June 29, 2024 – 07:00 – Morocco


An international team of researchers has made a stunning discovery in Morocco: a fossil site that provides a unique look at life on Earth 515 million years ago. The site has been compared to Pompeii, the Roman city that was buried under volcanic ash.

The site of Ait Youb, in the Souss-Massa region, contains extremely well-preserved fossils of trilobites, an extinct group of marine animals. The details of the fossils are so sharp that they allow scientists to closely study the anatomy of prehistoric animals.

Read also: Giant fossil lizard with sharp teeth discovered in Morocco

“Discovering fossils in such a remarkable state of preservation in a volcanic environment was a very moving experience for me,” said Professor Abdulrazak Al-Albani, co-author of the study. He says the discovery could provide new insights into the evolution of life on Earth.

Greg Edgecombe, an arthropod specialist and co-author of the study, was also impressed by the discovery. “I’ve been studying trilobites for nearly 40 years, but I’ve never felt like I’m looking at living animals the way I do here,” he says. “The 3D preservation is really amazing.”

Read also: The giant megalodon shark lived near Morocco 2.6 million years ago

The study that appeared on the cover of the American magazine Sciences It has been published, and opens new horizons for paleontological research in volcanic environments.