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How Dinosaurs of Tendaguru can benefit Lindi Region today

LET me take this opportunity to congratulate management and staff of the Tanzania Standard Newspaper (TSN), for organizing a business forum for Lindi Region. Although this part of Tanzania is highly gifted with different and rich resources it is still dragging itself before other regions.

This is to say the forum will be a platform for Lindi to showcase all its untapped resources including tourism sector which is capable of generating millions of money and employment to the people. Speaking to the participants of the forum, the minister for Information, culture, arts and Sports, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe says Lindi Region is “a hidden treasure” due to availability of unexploited resources on his side Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Godfrey Zambi says region is one of biggest regions in the country with various business opportunities.

Including oceans, arable land and forests that had not been adequately utilized. On the other side history speaks more for this region whereby in Tendaguru between 1906 and 1911 two German historians discovered remains of dinosaurs which are now in the Natural History Museum in Berlin. According to different reports from German media in 2014 more than two million people visited different museums in the country and created employment and income to the country. Tendaguru a small village in Lindi rural district is one of the first places in the world were dinosaurs used to dwell.

Paleontologists say dinosaurs evolved on earth more than 243 million years ago and managed to conquer rainforest and savannah when a mass extinction killed other creatures about 201 million years ago. Scientific research indicate the southern part of Tanzania attracted dinosaurs from different parts of the world including Asilisaurus. Which evolved more than 244 million years ago on their side historians and scientists named this specie by using a Swahili name which indicates the origin of dinosaurs in the world to be Tendaguru in southern Tanzania.

Paleontologists say Asilisaurus were from 0.5 to1 meters from their hips with a body which measured from 1 to 3 meters and weighed between 10 to 30 kilograms. This shows that Asilisaurus, were very small and could not block the evolution of specie called Nyasasaurus, which took place in southern Tanzania more than 243 million years ago.

Historians believe that Asilisaurus, evolved in Tendaguru, more than 12 million years before other species of dinosaurs and managed to overcome different challenges as they developed a habit of eating every plant and animal at their disposal. Scientists say in those days time passed and the population of Asilisaurus, increased and they moved southward were they were confronted with Nundasuchus, a group of dinosaurs which occupied the plains on the side of lake Nyasa from about 241 million years ago.

Historians say Nundasuchus were bigger than other dinosaurs of their time because an individual which appeared in Manda about 240 million years ago on a body which stretched from two to seven meters. As their name goes, Nundasuchus were predators which preyed upon other animals including weaker dinosaurs.

It is believed that Nundasuchus were formidable fighters which were armed with sharp teeth and their bodies had protective hard shell which enabled them to come out of an encounter without injuries. While competing for hunting and nesting grounds for about 85 million years, both Asilisaurus and Nundasuchus, could stop the evolution of Allosaurus, in Tendaguru about 155 million years ago.

These dinosaurs were 8.5 meters and stood more than 12 meters tall on flexible hind legs which enabled them to chase pray which they used their small forelegs to catch to allow the kill by using sharp teeth. Zoologists say Allosaurus were one few creatures of the prehistory world which are believed to be agile due to their long tail used in balancing the bodies during maneuvering.

Allosaurus were super predators of the earliest world which were between 12 and 13 meters and weighed 1,010 and 1,500 kilograms which enabled them to kill most of their prey using powerful jaws armed with more than 17 sharp teeth. Scientists say nature controlled the effect of these ferocious predators through a slow growth rate which took them more than 28 years unlike other dinosaurs which reached maturity after 15 years from birth.

Scientists say about 153 million years ago the world witnessed the arrival of Ceratosaurus, which roamed in the forest and plains of Tendaguru and other parts of the earliest world due to their morphology which allowed them to migrate into a long distant. It is believed that to overcome challenges from other dinosaurs, Ceratosaurus had pairs of sharp horns on their heads for attacking their enemies and killing preys.

This structure have enabled them to be a trade mark in science fiction films and video game of the modern world. On the other side paleontologists say these dinosaurs had long tail which was used to balance their bodies as they maneuvered on the plains of ancient Tendaguru. Approximately Ceratosaurus weighed between 524 and 900 kilograms but few individuals roamed on the plains of Tendaguru with body weight of more than 980 kilograms while standing 6.7 meters tall.

Enabled by their morphological structure, Ceratosaurus were predators which are known of hiding inside forest to ambush and kill prey on the side of water bodies. The fierceness of Ceratosaurus wiped some weaker animal in Tendaguru but it could not stop the strength of evolution which brought in Elaphrosaurus about 157 million years ago.

In those days, about 150 million years ago Tendaguru, was happy to welcome Giraffatitan, a giant specie of dinosaurs which were 22.5 meters and stood more than 12 meters tall. These dinosaurs were given this name which was derived from modern giraffe because the ancient animal had small head which stood on top of a very long neck, long leg and medium sized tail.

Giraffatitans were very big because a matured animal weighed not less than 78 tones which is equivalent to 9 full grown male elephant each weighing about 8 tones. Scientists say Giraffatitans and other big dinosaurs managed to live freely in the ancient world because at that time the our planet had one continent. With their huge bodies the world could not be a place for other creatures.

To open this planet for humans and others scientists say nature used volcanic eruptions and asteroid attacks to kill all dinosaurs on the Earth’s surface about 66 million years ago and opened doors for humans and other mammals to rule the world. The above long history of prehistoric world is a clear indication for Tendaguru, Lindi Region and the rest of the country to use the untapped natural resources that are found abundantly in different parts of the country.

With more than two million tourists visiting natural museums in German a year where every tourist pays between Tshs 7,500 and 15,000 which is a big amount of money for the economy of the region and the country at large.The long list of scientific names with connection with Swahili language depict what Dr Harrison Mwakyembe says Lindi Region is “a hidden treasure” and at the time when the nation is looking for more sources of foreign money to fund different development projects.

It brings into the minds of all stakeholders in tourism industry to think twice about the importance of Tendaguru where fossils of one of the largest creature that ever lived in this planet was found. The region is supposed to sign special agreement with the Natural History Museum in Berlin, Germany which will benefit the country in terms of money generated by the presence of the fossils in the museum.

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Author: By Reginald Matillya

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