†Platecarpus sp, Cope 1869 (mosasaur)
Reptilia - Squamata - Mosasauridae
Beautiful specimen. In the same matrix you can see an associated shark tooth.
In the international market is very common to find Mosasaurus rests coming from the phosphate quarries of the Upper Cretaceous of the Ouled Abdoun Basin (Morocco).
This quarries have been exploited since the beginning of the past century. Many sellers that sell this fossils do not make a good precise taxonomic identification work.
In these sites there are numerous different species of Mosasaurus described in the enormous assemblage of giant marine reptiles that reigned the seas during the Cretaceous.
The main rich levels in these paleontological taxons are in the deeper stratigraphic levels of the sedimentarian filling of the Ouled Abdoun Basin. The age of these correspond to the Maastrichtian stage, 66 million years ago.
Most of the research carried out on these marine reptiles from Morocco have been performed by French researchers.
Next we list the different Mosasaur species which have been recognised in the phosphate rocks in North Africa:
-Halisaurus aramborgi (Bardet et al., 2005)
-Halisaurus walkeri (Lingham-Solier, 1998)
-Prognathodon sp (Dollo, 1889)
-Prognathodon anceps (Leiodon anceps)
-Prognathodon solvay (Dollo, 1889)
-Prognathodon currii (Christiansen & Bonde, 2002)
-Eremiasaurus heterodontus (LeBlanc et al., 2012)
-Mosasaurus beaugei (Arambourg, 1952)
-Mosasaurus hoffmanni (Mantell, 1829)
-Tylosaurus (Marsh, 1872)
-Platecarpus ptychodon (Arambourg, 1954)
-Globidens phosphaticus (Bardet et al., 2005)
-Carinodens belgicus (Bardet et al., 2005)
The Ouled Abdoun Basin (or Khouribga Basin), located in the central sector of Morocco, is an enormous sedimentarian basin represented mostly by a vast filling of phosphate sediments. Apart from having a relevant raw material to be extracted, it has a series of very important paleontological sites in which amazing assemblages from big and small marine vertebrates are present. The basin has a so great continuity in its stratigraphic record that both the Upper Cretaceous as well as the two first epochs of the Paleogene (Paleocene and Eocene) can be studied.
The main assemblage of vertebrate fossils of the Paleogene sector present there is composed by sharks, fish, turtles, marine snakes, rays, crocodiles, other types of reptiles and even marine birds. In the Cretaceous part we can add Mosasaurs, Pterosaurs and Plesiosaurs.
Next you can visit a link with very interesting information about this sedimentarian basin rich in fossil vertebrates: Ouled Abdoun Basin
Reptilia Laurenti 1768
Squamata Oppel 1811
Mosasauridae Gervais 1853
Plioplatecarpinae Russell 1967
Platecarpus Cope 1869
Platecarpus ptychodon, Arambourg , 1952
ARAMBOURG C. 1952. — Les vertébrés fossiles des gisements de phosphates (Maroc – Algérie – Tunisie). Notes et Mémoires du Service géologique du Maroc 92:1-372.
Small teeth with bicarinate higly laterally compressed crowns, subequal lingal and labial surfaces bearing verticals striations that are more numerous on the lingual face and developed only on the two thirds of the crown height. The dental morphology of P.ptychodon is quite distinct from those of other mosasaurids, such that this taxon (which was erected on the basis of isolated teeth only) is provisionally regarded as valid.
12 or 13 teeth on a dentary, 14 on a maxillary