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KHERMEN TSAV

The site is 70 km far from DUUT MANKHAN TOURIST Camp. World famous sights within the Gobi Desert National Park and its surroundings are the paleontological sites in the west of the Park, with such well-known names as Khermen Tsav, Bugiin Tsav, Uiaan Tsav, Altan and Nemegt Mountains and Bayanzag north west of Dalanzadgad. The views include impressive canyons and rugged mountain massifs.

Together with the Himalayan Mountains, these massifs were folded upward like a concertina when the Indian continental plate drifting north in the ocean collided with Asia. The heaps of rubble at the foot of the mountains and in the valleys between the mountains are multi-colored because every mineral contained in the rocks erodes differently. These wide basins used to be swamp and lake landscapes populated by dinosaurs. Therefore they are hiding an incredible number of fossils. Paleontological discoveries have been made in the Gobi for centuries. The old Chinese-Mongolian dragon mythology is said to have its origin in the discovery of dinosaurs in the Gobi. Since 1892 there have been organized research expeditions in which Poland, Russia, Japan, Germany, the USA and others participated.

In 1971, Mongolian and Polish scientists found the well-preserved skeletons of two small dinosaurs which had sunk their teeth into each other. These and many other skeletons of meat-eating and Horned dinosaurs (Protoceratops), painstakingly put together, can be seen in Ulaanbaatar’s Museum of Natural History, in addition to clutches of dinosaur eggs. Only in 1993 a site was discovered in the upper Cretacious formation, approximately 80 million years old, whose species richness and fossil quality is unique in the world. At that time of the earth’s history, dinosaurs, birds and mammals all lived together. Therefore, many so-called missing links were found in the remains, i.e. specimen representing anatomical links between geniuses, families and orders. This has allowed scientists to draw conclusions about the phylogenic of today’s creatures.

Near the Gilbent Mountain Range, Mongolian and American dinosaur researchers unearthed over 40 skeletons from the sandstone in just three hours. Among them were tiny skulls and bones of Zalambdalestes, one of the oldest known mammals. One reason why this place in the Desert National Park is currently considered the most important site of dinosaur fossils is that here not just isolated dinosaur eggs but complete clutches can be found. Large, well-preserved skeletons of the large carnivorous dinosaur (Tarbosaurus) and of the duck-billed dinosaur (Saurolophus) from the western region of the Gobi Desert National Park. They are exhibited in the museum in Ulaanbaatar.