00003 - Collector Grade 2.64 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Giant Sawfish Rostral Barb
00003 - Collector Grade 2.64 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Giant Sawfish Rostral Barb 00003 - Collector Grade 2.64 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Giant Sawfish Rostral Barb 00003 - Collector Grade 2.64 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Giant Sawfish Rostral Barb

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00003 - Collector Grade 2.64 Inch Onchopristis Cretaceous Giant Sawfish Rostral Barb

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Onchopristis numidus, Hauq 1905
Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage, (~96 Million Years)
Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, South Morocco
Tegana Formation, Red Sandstone Beds
64 mm   •    in
19 g   •    oz
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Beautiful tooth of the giant sawfish of the North African Cretaceous. It is a piece of a huge size, with well defined enamel, and with very vivid and brilliant red tones. It perfectly preserves the root and the tip of the tooth. Only a restoration has been made along a fracture around the middle of the tooth. The fracture has been glued and restored using the filling method.   

This restoration method used by local miners consists in the colmatage of the fractures with a mix of glued sand of the same stratigraphic level where the fossil has been excavated.

Spectacular rostral barb dentition of the extinct taxon of the giant sawfish, the Onchopristis numidus. This type of sawfish is a relatively common species in the cretaceous ecosystems in the north of Africa. It stands out in abundancy over many of the other types of fish which also shared the shame fluvial systems. Despite its relative abundance, the preservation of a sharp and defined tip is a very rare feature. Most teeth of this species, due to their length and stylized morphology, tend to lose the cusps during the sedimentarian transportation. Finally, during the fossilization, the lithostatic pressure also acts as a destructive agent for this delicate structures.

The teeth with strong and vivid fossilization colors such as red, orange and black come from small paleochannels composed by thin layers, in the intermediate and upper stratigraphic levels (Red Sandstone Beds), from the Aoufous Formation (Kem Kem Basin, South of Morocco). The lithology of this body of sediment is characterized by the dominance of sandstones (also known as arenites) and fluvial gravel, of siliceous nature. Sometimes large concentrations of iron oxide are present, and then a small sample of that is usually present at the base of the tooth. These mineralizations are responsible for the wide range of beautiful reddish color tones, slowly drawn during millions of years via fossil-diagenetic processes. The complicated sedimentarian architecture of the layers where most large vertebrates are found makes the excavation methodology a real challenge. Sometimes the local miners have to excavate long tunnels that follow the distribution of the fossiliferous layer.
Onchopristis is a genus of extinct giant sawfish that lived in the Lower Cretaceous to Upper Cretaceous in North Africa and New Zealand. It had an elongated snout lined laterally with barbed teeth. It is a large sawfish, known from remains throughout North America, North Africa and New Zealand. It was very large, up to 8 m (26.2 ft) long when fully grown. As with modern sawfish, Onchopristis's eyes were on top of its head, to spot predators rather than prey, and its mouth and gills were under its body. The rostrum, or snout, was around 2.5 m (8.2 ft) long, lined with barbed teeth. In the type species, O. numidus, each tooth had one barb, but in O. dunklei there were two to five barbs on each tooth, two to three in O. d. praecursor, and three to five in O. d. dunklei. The rostrum most likely would have had electrosensors to detect food in the water below them like most modern sharks and some rays. Onchopristis may have raked through the riverbed to find and then eat prey. [This last paragraph is from Wikipedia - License: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported]

This taxon was described by Hauq (1905) and belongs to the Pristidae family. Their fossils are a good indicator of paleoenvironments related with deltas and estuaries. This type of fish constituted a big part of the diet of the great ichthyophagous coetaneous dinosaurs, such as the Spinosaurus
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