[N] 2006 Reptilian faunas from the Maastrichtian posphates of Morocco
Bardet, N., Pereda-Superbiola, X., Jouce, S. & Bouya, B. (2006) Reptilian faunas from the Maastrichtian posphates of Morocco. JVP 26(3) Abstracts pp.39
The Upper Cretaceous-middle Eocene (Maastrichtian to Lutetian) phosphatic deposits of Morocco (i.e. Oulad Abdoun and Ganntour basins) are well known by very rich and diversified vertebrate faunas, including selachians, bony fishes, marine reptiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, mammals and marine birds. Since the pioneer work of Arambourg in the 1950’s, only selachians have received scientific attention because of their biostratigraphical utility. Recently, an active collaboration between the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (Morocco), the Ministère de l’Energie et des Mines (Morocco) and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), has lead to extensive field work and a very rich collection has been accumulated.
A great number of well preserved and articulated specimens have been collected, contrasting with the isolated and fragmentary remains previously known. The Maastrichtian phosphatic outcrops have yielded one of the most diverse mosasaurid fauna of the world. It consists of Mosasaurus beaugei, Platecarpus ptychodon, Prognathodon currii, Globidens phosphaticus, Halisaurus arambourgi, Prognathodon sp. (Mosasaurus cf. Leiodon anceps of Arambourg) and, tentatively, Carinodens belgicus. This assemblage is typical of the southern margin of the Mediterranean Tethys. Marine reptiles also include the varanoid squamate Pachyvaranus crassispondylus, a new elasmosaurid plesiosaur, both bothremydid and chelonioid turtles, and very scarce remains of dyrosaurid, gavialoid and eusuchian crocodyliformes. Continental reptiles are also found in this shallow marine environment. They consist of the azdharchid pterosaur Phosphatodraco mauritanicus and saurischian dinosaurs, including a ceratosaurian theropod and a titanosauriforme sauropod.