Oman has so much natural wildlife and dramatic landscape to offer to visitors. Whether it is baby turtles emerging from their nests at sunrise, or the turtles laying their eggs at sunset, proper sand dune Desert that you can trek on camels across, stunning beaches with beautiful clear sea that you can swim in, Hundreds of leaping dolphins or spectacular wadis to hike in … there is something natural to delight and enthral you, and we were not disappointed on any of these fronts when we went on a Holiday to Oman.
However what we didn’t expect was to see both the volume and quality of fossils up in the spectacular peaks of the western Hajjar Mountains at Jabal Akhdhar. About 290 million years ago these peaks were at the bottom of a huge tropical sea and over time hundreds of dead creatures from tiny plankton to larger shells and corals fell to the sea floor and were gradually covered by sand and became fossils. About 200 million years later these peaks were pushed up above the sea level, and so as a result it is possible to see the bizarre sight of sea fossils 2,500 m above the sea level!
Both Bivalves and Molluscs can be seen in plenty. The Bivalves were marine forms of shells in 2 hinged parts with Rudists, Oysters and Clams being the most common. The Molluscs have coiled spiral shells and Nautilus, Belemnites and Sea Urchins are highlights to be searched for.
There are two spectacular types of fossilised coral which are common in these mountains, but rare elsewhere, that look like vermicelli and macaroni, as well as the bigger chunks of rounded corals.
When travelling in Oman we would recommend a stay in the lovely Sahab hotel, which also has a superb telescope which is strong enough to see Saturn’s rings! It is also a perfect starting point for a walk in the mountains to the nearby villages looking on the way for fossils, with the spectacular backdrop of peaks, gorges and wadis. In fact you can see many of the Fossils in the gardens itself before you even start your walk! It really is a Geologists dream, and from personal experience we can thoroughly recommend an Oman Holiday!
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