Coral colony discovered in the Dammam Formation
Arabia Separates from Africa (Eocene)
Object Name: Coral Colony
Period: Arabia Separates from Africa (Eocene)
Date: 55–30 Million Years Ago
Provenance: Gift from Taylor, Norman 24/4/13 -
Dimensions: 81 mm (H) x 124 mm (W) x 102 mm (D) 1136.3 g (Wt)
Medium: fossil
Registration Number: QNM.2013.88.303
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Dammam Formation
This is a fossilized stony coral specimen that was discovered in a layer of sedimentary rocks known as the Dammam Formation. This area was submerged in the sea during the time period when the coral lived. Stony corals are colonies of small animals belonging to the marine group known as Cnidaria. They are filter feeders and secrete calcium carbonate to form their hard skeleton, which resembles stone.
In this period the Arabian Plate began to separate from the African Plate and moved gradually towards the Eurasian Plate.
The Arabian Gulf and the Zagros Mountains formed as a result of the Arabian and Eurasian Plates colliding. Qatar was home to a range of marine species. Fossils of ancient plants and animals from this time have been discovered, including sea urchins, sharks, sawfish and dugongs.
Dammam Formation