240 million years ago, unknown creatures dug up an entire underground city in Morocco

18.09.2011

It is the oldest example of such a structure in the lower latitudes. Globally, the leader of South Africa holes are built on five million years earlier. Perhaps the authors of both structures were similar creatures.

"Imagine a sturdy four-legged animal with a rather short body, small tail and short neck — said study author Sebastian Voigt from the Geological Institute of Technology, the University of Freiberg (Germany). — The length of the trunk was about 20-25 cm We have to admit that the animal had a five-strong fingers with claws adapted for use in a moderately soft ground. "

Burrows are located in the red beds of the tectonic basin in the central part of the Argan Moroccan. The structure consists of a number of inputs, outputs, tunnels and chambers. "This structure does not have any equivalent of natural resources, nor among the dwellings of modern vertebrates, — said Mr. Voigt. — It is extremely complex, and its double twisting passages not seen anywhere else. "

The researchers conclude that the underworld served as a refuge from predators. Dinosaurs at the time was not yet, but there were carried out massive and rapid "crocodiles" with long legs. The company they were close relatives of modern lizards, snakes and tuatara.

Geology of the place, as well as the design nor hint at the fact that the animals were hiding under the ground of bad weather. "In the Triassic region, I think, was a large semi-desert, is located at some distance from the sea, — says Mr. Voigt. — Rivers appeared only in the rainy season, the river bed were shallow. The banks covered rather thin vegetation. It was hot during the day, at night — cold. "

Smooth floor tunnel suggests that they are actively using. Most likely, the inmates were chosen by night — profit plants, roots and insects.

Norah built individual animals (eg fish), are beginning to emerge in the early Paleozoic. In other words, this practice — almost the same age of complex biological forms. Mr. Voigt suspects that at first they served as a refuge from adverse conditions — especially drought.

It appears that the animals were digging whenever the opportunity presents itself. Even some dinosaurs dug burrows. Here the soil is not always allowed. In the Moroccan case, the conditions were perfect: local complex built in the sand, mixed with the wet mud of the flood channel.

The study is published in the journal Palaios. Prepared according to Discovery News.

See also: Archaeological finds. Photos, Pyramids were built of concrete.

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