The first fossil preparation laboratory in Mozambique, located in Marracuene, was concluded this month and was largely supported by Instituto Superior Técnico and Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), through the PaleoTech project.
The training of scientists was carried out in Portuguese institutions, within the PalNiassa project, aiming to preserve the paleontological heritage on Mozambican territory. “This scientific and innovative project was started by Portuguese palaeontologists with the support of Museu Nacional de Geologia de Maputo, aiming to preserve the paleontological heritage on Mozambican territory, discover new fossils and create a fossil preparation laboratory”, said Ricardo Araújo, palaeontologist and member of the project.
According to the researcher, this laboratory “has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities that will be used to prepare the numerous fossil skulls and the almost complete animal skeletons that lived in Mozambican soil for over 250 million years.” “These rare and unique fossils require very careful handling before being studied.”
“Instituto Superior Técnico and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, as well as Instituto Gulbenkian da Ciência and Museu da Lourinhã, have contributed to the success of this project”, noted Ricardo Araújo. “The work carried out by Paleotech project, under the guidance of Técnico, allows these young Mozambicans to use advanced computed microtomography.”
“This type of infrastructure will serve not only as a tourism hub, but also as a training centre for Geology students from different universities and Mozambican schools, thus promoting opportunities for study and practice advanced science, encouraging students to pursue a scientific career”, added the palaeontologist.