IN its yesterday’s edition, ‘Daily News on Saturday’ carried on page 13 an article entitled ‘Tanzania in the spotlight of mammal diversity’.
The article, which is part of the National Science Foundation-funded OHIO team, in collaboration with international colleagues’ findings, dwells on Rukwa Rift Basin Project through which researchers had in 2002 identified and after verifying their findings in 2003 announced to have discovered a new mammal in an article published on March 18, 2019 in a journal called ‘Acta Palaeontologica Polonica’.
This is a quarterly peer-reviewed open access scientific journal of paleontology and paleobiology established by Roman Kozłowski in 1956.
The journal is published by the Institute of Paleobiology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a highly ranked institute in scientific research publications. In their article the researchers say the mammal’s lower jaw they had discovered represents the first named mammal species from the Late Cretaceous Period (100-66 million years ago) of the entire African continent.
They argue that in the subsequent years they were able to establish that the new species, Galulatherium jenkinsi, was a new species to science.
According to them, since their discovery is the first of an identifiable mammal fossil in the Late Cretaceous of all of mainland Africa, it is incredibly exhilarating on so many levels.
Besides Galulatherium, the researchers add that they found other bizarre relatives of early crocodiles and three distinct species of long-necked herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs.
There are also eight other Cretacerous findings by the Rukwa Rift Basin Project research team – all of which were found in Rukwa Rift Basin in south-western Tanzania. Yes, the discovery puts Tanzania on the world map in terms of the mammal diversity potential and taking into account previous discoveries, including Olduvai Gorge, one of the most significant paleoanthropological sites in the world.
The latter has significantly contributed to the understanding of human evolution. In our opinion, what the researchers have published in the scientific journal serves as a source of information of Tanzania’s contribution to global scientific findings.
It also serves as a tourist attraction that stands to earn the country foreign currency and, of course, contribute to the growth of local tourism. We believe there are still many areas of interest either as tourist attractions or sites of scientific discoveries that can advertise Tanzania to the world.
So, it is up to us to help advertise our country through having programmes that can make places like Rukwa Rift Basin known, visited and be explored for their eminence and value for money.