August 21, 2009
By Louise Redvers
LUANDA (AFP) – Angola is best known for oil and diamonds, but dinosaur hunters say the country holds a "museum in the ground" of rare fossils -- some actually jutting from the earth -- waiting to be discovered.
"Angola is the final frontier for palaeontology," explained Louis Jacobs, of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, part of the PaleoAngola project which is hunting for dinosaur fossils.
"Due to the war, there's been little research carried out so far, but now we're getting in finally and there's so much to find.
"In some areas there are literally fossils sticking out of the rocks. It's like a museum in the ground."
The first reports of dinosaur remains in Angola were made in the 1960s, but a bloody liberation struggle against the Portuguese followed by three decades of civil war covered the country in landmines and made it a no-go zone for researchers.
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