This is another unique piece of our Pterosaurs collection. It belongs to the new genus and species, the Alanqa saharica. It is the dentary bone (lower jaw) of a strange and little-known Pterosaur species of the North African Cretaceous. This type of fossils are extremely rare. In fact, similar specimens are impossible to find anywhere in the market. Its morphology resembles very much that of the dentition rests published recently by Ibrahim et al. (2010), where a new genus and species of Pterosaur belonging to the Azhdarchidae family is described. It is the Alanqa saharica (Holotype specimen FSAC-KK 26). With the following link you can visit the scientific article published by its discoverers:
This new and recent species is only known because of a few rests, mainly belonging to the mandibular symphysis. This new taxon is distinguished from other azhdarchids by a remarkably straight, elongate, lance-shaped mandibular symphysis that bears a pronounced dorsal eminence near the posterior end of its dorsal (occlusal) surface. (Ibrahim et al., A new pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco. 2010). This specimen is absolutely unique and worthy of new comparative studies with the already published rests. Its discovery was made in the most basal part of the stratigraphic levels corresponding to the red sandstones of the Aoufous Formation. Its completeness is astonishing. It is even better preserved than the published Holotype. Its anatomical superficial texture is well defined.
It only has a thin glued fracture close to the tip, but without any restoration. Towards the proximal zone there is a fracture restored via the filling method.
Despite the necessary preparation for the proper preservation of the specimen, we can still observe in its occlusion area the numerous sensory pits along both sides and within the tongue groove. Without doubt, this piece deserves its exhibition in any scientific collection or museum exhibition.
The rarity of discovering a specimen such amazing as this one, makes it worth considering it in the investment class.
The quarries in the red and yellow fossiliferous levels with sands are gravels (Aoufous Fm e Ifezouane Fm) are becoming more inaccessible and dangerous for the local miners. Therefore this type of teeth and bones are everyday more scarce. The teeth which are found on the surface in nearby sites have a bad preservation due to the abrasion that they suffer during its exposition to high temperatures and aggressive desert climate conditions. However, the teeth that are extracted from the depth of the mines are usually much better preserved.
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