Peru moving to protect fossils from car race

Jan 04, 2013
An official inspects motorcycles during the technical and administrative checks of the 2013 edition of the Dakar Rally in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The race of over 400 vehicles including cars, bikes, trucks and quads begins on Jan. 5 in Lima, and finishes in Santiago, Chile on Jan. 20. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

(AP)—Peru's government is taking steps to protect one of the world's largest fossil deposits from being damaged by this year's Dakar Rally, the Culture Ministry said Thursday.

It's the second year that the long-distance race involving hundreds of cars and motorbikes has included Peru. The race begins Saturday and will cross into Chile and Argentina before ending Jan. 20.

The Culture Ministry said it is erecting signs at all access points to the Ocucaje desert to help prevent damage to existing fossils.

Klaus Honninger, director of the private Meyer-Honninger Paleontological Museum in Peru, called the race an "enormous danger" for the Ocucaje zone in the Ica region, which is home to fossils of , dolphins, penguins and other animals.

Honninger said spectators at last year's rally dumped tons of trash in the desert and some people reportedly used whale fossil as benches. Some autos crushed fossils in their path.

Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne said Thursday that organizers are taking all measures possible to prevent any kind of damage to fossils or the environment in general. He said organizers would be making inspections every day on every leg of the race.

Explore further: Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fossil of Cretaceous-era squid found in Peru

Jan 20, 2011

Paleontologists said Thursday they discovered the 85-million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown squid species from the Cretaceous era in the high jungle region of northeastern Peru.

Peru researchers make rare ancient insect find

Aug 10, 2011

Researchers in Peru said Tuesday they have discovered the remains of ancient insects and sunflower seeds trapped inside amber dating from the Miocene epoch, some 23 million years ago.

Recommended for you

Radar search to find lost Aboriginal burial site

Jul 22, 2014

Scientists said Tuesday they hope that radar technology will help them find a century-old Aboriginal burial ground on an Australian island, bringing some closure to the local indigenous population.

Archaeologists excavate NY Colonial battleground

Jul 19, 2014

Archaeologists are excavating an 18th-century battleground in upstate New York that was the site of a desperate stand by Colonial American troops, the flashpoint of an infamous massacre and the location of the era's largest ...

User comments : 0