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Beauté stupéfiante

Beauté stupéfiante

Le site allie énorme intérêt scientifique et nature magnifique.

En caractères tifinagh

En caractères tifinagh

Anza, écrit avec les lettres berbères.

Traces

Traces

Leur intérêt provient aussi de leur diversité.

Netteté

Netteté

On croit voir les dinosaures et leurs trois doigts cheminer au bord de l'océan...

Panneau

Panneau

En anglais, en français et en arabe.

Curiosité scientifique

Curiosité scientifique

Les étudiants du Département géologie de l'Université allemande de Münster.

Organic plant garden
Riad El Aïssi Taroudant


Anza Beach:  rare dinosaur footprints

Spectacular and rare dinosaur footprints have been discovered on Anza beach, a northern district of Agadir,one hour drive from our villa, on the road to Essaouira. Identified in 2013 and, for the last of them, in 2015, they are easily accessible. They are located on rocks that outcrop on the surface, over a distance of about 300 meters, in a fabulous natural setting. The site is the largest of its kind in Morocco. To visit at low tide and preferably between the months of February and August, when the sand does not cover the footprints! Essential complement:the small museum that was created nearby to better understand the scientific dimension of these extraordinary discoveries.

Popular tradition made them traces left by storks... The truth broke out in 2013, when a particularly strong swell hit the Atlantic seaboard and released more than 200 footprints, in large numbers and in an excellent state of preservation. 

 

Teams of both Moroccan and foreign scientists have quickly identified them: they are traces of bipedal dinosaurs which have left paths of tridactyl steps, that is to say formed of three fingers pointing forwards.

 

These giants were mostlycarnivorous theropods andpterosaurs (see illustrations above).

 

Among the scariest dinosaurs

 

Theropods are among the scariest dinosaurs. Allosaurs and tyrannosaurs are among them. They lived for 230 million years, until 66 million years ago. Pterosaurs were flying vertebrates. 

 

According to experts, the dinosaurs whose footprints have been found lived in Anza 85 million years ago, at the age of the Upper Cretaceous, and more precisely of the Santonian. Teacher-researcher attached to the Laboratory of Applied Geology within the Faculty of Sciences of Agadir, Moussa Masrour underlines that it is the only rocky site in Morocco with imprints dating back to this geological era. It is even one of the few in Africa and even in the world.

 

The presence of footprints of very different animals on a relatively small surface contributes to making the Geopark of Anza a site of great interest.. We observe thea coexistence of no vertebrates (theropods and pterosaurs) with different types (tridactyls and tetradactyls, semi-plantigrade and rounded). It is also the longest site of dinosaur tracks in the Kingdom. Dinosaurs left their mark on at least six levels of gently sloping calcareous sandstone layers. Several paths can thus be identified.

The Anza site has become a world reference for the following reasons:

  • A large concentration of fingerprints (more than 340 fingerprints) in a small area.

  • Good keeping quality.

  • The second site of Cretaceous pterosaur footprints in Africa after that of Tagragra, which we reportbelow.

  • The first African site and the fourth in the world with Macropodosaurus-like footprints.

  • The second site in the world where Macropodosaurus type footprints can be attributed to Therizinosaur dinosaurs.

 

In 2015, a team of American scientists identified additional traces, and in particular a highly recognizable giant tortoise fossil.

 

Two other sites not far from Agadir

 

Morocco is rich in sites related to dinosaurs, including that ofTazouda (Toundoute).

 

The Agadir region into accountone, named Tagragra, explored by scientists in the middle of the 20th century and located to the east of the city, in an area between Wadi Tamrarht and Amskroud, to the north. Established by R. Ambroggi and A. F. de Lapparent,  the sketch below, dating from 1954, therefore from the end of the Protectorate, shows the exact location where they had discovered traces of dinosaurs from the end of the Cretaceous, as well as Cretaceous birds which, they underlined, were the first indication of this type of bird in Africa.

See inside the red circle.

In addition, the construction works of the Agadir-Marrakech road have unearthed important traces nearArgana, between Imi n'Tanout and Agadir.

 

Unprotected site

 

The great problem of the Anza Geopark lies in the fact that the site, already very popular with swimmers, is exposed to destruction and human degradation: theft and looting. We even saw a truck from the City of Agadir come and unload rubble there...

 

In addition to human risks, there are natural risks: erosion and the salinity of marine waters, likely to deteriorate the quality of the traces. 

 

Raising awareness among the local population should help preserve this unique and irreplaceable geological heritage. Only a guardian, namedSamir Benteyane, voluntarily ensures the protection of the site. Passionate about the discovery that has taken place in his small town, this young Berber will welcome you in a very cordial and enthusiastic way. Do not hesitate to engage in conversation with him. He will provide you with all the information he has. But undeceive him if he happens to risk the hypothesis that humans have rubbed shoulders with these dinosaurs! If mammals lived with these monsters, man only appeared on Earth long, long, long after.

 

Attention: it is at low tide that the footprints are best visible!

 

A wide interest

 

The Moroccan Association for Orientation and Scientific Research (AMORS) in Anza has installed a sign to inform visitors of the interest of the site, which legally falls within the maritime domain.

 

More broadly, the echo generated by the discoveries of 2013 and 2015 has so far not generated national support beyond the circle of interested scientists. The Ibn Zohr University of Agadir has however begun to promote the traces of these reptiles from another age, by establishing casts and descriptive sheets, in order to promote Anza from a scientific and tourist point of view. The Faculty of Science wants to organize a seminar, publish the results of the studies undertaken in a scientific journal and carry out a detailed three-dimensional mapping of the footprints. There is still a lot to do, althoughthe small museum located nearby already constitutes an important contribution to a better knowledge of the dinosaurs of Anza. VShe discoveries have also taken on an international dimension. They arouse the visit of scientific teams, Moroccan, but also Spanish, German and American.

In May 2018, the Moroccan authorities engaged in a strange competition there:one ministry intended to protect the site by listing it and another opened the door to the construction of a car park. However, let's focus on the positive: a large stone dinosaur has appeared on the roundabout of the N1 which provides access to the site. An effective way to signal interest in taking the road to the footprints.

 

See you there while the site is still open to visitors! Be careful though: be careful not to twist your foot or fall. Caution is advised. 

 

Entrance to the site free. Possibilities of parking nearby.

Telephone number: +212 661 997 987

Email: amors.org@gmail.com

Ancre 1
A very informative little museum in Anza

Given the exceptional quality of Anza's dinosaur footprints,a small museum was created nearby, in a building made available by the local authorities.  At the same time was createda website in French and Arabic, very rich in information. You can book your visit there.on line.

Inabout an hour
from the Garden of Stars.

Google Maps indicates two variants.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anchor 2
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