01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone
01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone 01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone 01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone 01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone

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01020 - Unpublished Unidentified Theropod 1.28 Inch Caudal Vertebrae Bone

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Species
Clade Theropoda, Marsh 1881 (Caudal vertebrae, Theropoda indet)
Age
Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage, (~96 Million Years)
Location
South Taouz, Errachida province, South Morocco
Formation
Ifezouane Formation, Kem Kem Basin, Red Sandstone Beds
Size
32.5 mm   •    in
Weight
21 g   •    oz
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Description

This is one of the small jewels of our collection of dinosaur bones. It is a vertebral body (or centrum) from a caudal vertebra of an indetermine theropod. It does not have any restoration or reparation. It is a completely unpublished piece which could be the subject of new comparative studies. Without doubt, pieces like this are tremendously scarce in the North African Cretaceous quarries.

The elongated morphology, slightly flat and compact, tells us that the vertebra must have belonged to the final part of the tail of a theropod dinosaur. The anatomical position of this bone in a theropod skeleton is indicated in one of the pictures. The specific classification is very complex with only one vertebra. More parts of the postcranial skeleton from the same animal would be necessary for a proper ID.

The bone rests from the sites in the south of Morocco are very scarce and valuable because of many reasons. One of them is the very same nature of the geological formation that contains them. The sediments were formed in delta and fluvial environments, where the transportation energy was relatively high. Because of this, any possibility of finding articulated rests is very rare, since the rests of dead animals where transported and deteriorated. That is why only the most robust bones or the most stable parts are usually preserved. Another reason for the lack of complete dinosaur bones in this region is the destructive methodology normally employed by the local miners in their excavations, which in the search of teeth, usually destroy many interesting bone rests.

The different Geological Formations that make up the orography of the Cretaceous in the South East of Morocco have been mostly treated in an undifferentiated and not too accurate way by collectors, by Paleontology aficionados and by fossil dealers.

Historically, fossils dealers from all around the world have identified the dinosaur pieces from this sector as belonging to the Tegana Formation. However, in a formal way, most of the last published studies refer to other nomenclature in the description of the units and formations of the Lower and Upper Cretaceous.

That's why next we include an interesting link where the Aoufous Formation and the Ifezouane Formation are described, making reference to their age, geological history, sedimentology, stratigraphy and vertebrate assemblage. It includes a brief explanation of the stratigraphic concepts that have been established formally until today in the studies of this sector of Morocco.

This way, the precise stratigraphic understanding of the origin of the rests, as well as the sedimentological analysis, enables a better paleoecologic characterization of the environments where this amazing dinosaur assemblage lived. 

Link: Aoufous Formation

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