22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds
22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds 22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds 22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds 22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds

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22310 - Well Preserved 0.54 Inch Dromaeosaur Raptor Tooth Cretaceous KemKem Beds

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Family Dromaeosauridae, Colbert and Russell 1969
Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian stage, (~96 Million Years)
Taouz, Kem Kem Basin, South Morocco
Ifezouane Formation, Kem Kem Basin, Red Sandstone Beds
13.7 mm   •    in
1 g   •    oz
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Spectacular raptor tooth of great quality. It is perfectly preserved, complete and without restorations or reparations.

Its enamel color varies between different varieties, with brilliant shades.

This tooth represents a perfect example of the dentition features typical of the small theropods (raptors) that dominated the ecosystems of the Upper Cretaceous in the north of Africa. In general this type of teeth have usually a small size, however this piece has a size slightly larger than the average. It could be considered to belong to an individual that has already finalized all its phases of growth, and it is completely developed. The tooth is 100% complete, it does not have any restoration or reparation. It is exceptionally perfect. Its robust lateral serrations are distributed along the edge up until the sharp tip, perfectly preserved. The sharp and intact tips are a preservation feature very difficult to find and therefore it is one of the characteristics which influences the most in the objective valuation of a specimen.

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.

Still nowadays there have not been many specific studies about these agile carnivorous, which are relatively abundant in the sites in the south of Morocco, in Egypt and Niger. The features of a single tooth are not enough to distinguish even on a generic level. The comparisons with geometric morphometry on numerous dentition rests have brought up the presence of at least two distinguishable morphotypes. Classically, they have been classified as the Dromaeosauridae and the Abelisauridae families. There is yet a lot to be known about these fascinating theropods, commonly known as raptors. The discovery of some connecting skeleton, with both cranium and postcranium elements, would shed some light on the specific description of at least one of these new carnivorous dinosaur taxons, which were agile and seasoned hunters.

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