Crocodile skull discovered in the Dammam Formation
Uplifting of the Qatar Peninsula (Miocene)
Object Name: Crocodile Skull
Period: Uplifting of the Qatar Peninsula (Miocene)
Date: 23–5 Million Years Ago
Provenance: Qatar Museum of Nature and Science
Dimensions: 55 g
Medium: fossil
Registration Number: QNM.2015.8
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Dammam Formation
This fossil belongs to a crocodile from the gharial. The most common fossils found of gharial are isolated teeth and bony skin scutes. This specimen is the only near-complete skull known from Eastern Arabia. It is probably of late Miocene age (about 5 – 6 million years old), but this needs further studies and confirmation. This crocodile skull was discovered in 2005 in southwest Qatar, close to Salwa Road. The associated aquatic fauna suggests that they lived in a riverine environment but this also needs further studies. Gharials feed almost exclusively on fish.
At the beginning of this period, Qatar was covered by shallow tropical waters. Sea turtles, marine crocodiles and dugongs all lived here.
Later, the Qatar peninsula gradually rose above sea level. The climate was much more humid than today, and Qatar was covered by grasslands and rivers. Ancient species of freshwater crocodiles, ostriches, elephants and giraffes walked the land.
Dammam Formation