Our latest edition to fossils in frames has all our team starry-eyed, were sure you'll love it too. Ben Pickup has pencilled a wonderful rendition of a marine reptile Mosasaur, our team have set a genuine and authenticated fossil tooth with the Mosasaur print and these two elements complement each other making an attractive fossil frame display.
Otodus Obliquus fossil sharks are an ancestor of the mackerel family of sharks and probably a distant relative of the Great White. Otodus specialists speculate it reached up to 40 feet in length, when considering Megalodon (Carcharodon Megalodon ), reached 50 feet (5 tonnes), Otodus Obliquus was a massive hunter of much earlier Cretaceous oceans, as much as 40 million years before Megalodon (Miocene period). We find these gorgeously caramel toned teeth in the phosphate deposits of Morocco. Each tooth has a side cusps and a sharp point. Towards the end of the lineage of these Otodus Mackerel sharks, their teeth were evolving with serrations similar to the much later and modern Great White (Carcharodon carcharias evolved 16 million years ago) also the Mako shark has similarities in the morphology of their teeth. The skeleton of sharks is cartilaginous and so skeletal remains are extremely rare, as cartilage does not fossilise well. However we do find vertebrae in the phosphate deposits along with these teeth, making identification a little easier. As an ancestor and therefore a direct line to Carcharodon carcharias the court is still out to whether Megalodon or Mako is the lineage from Otodus Obliquus. All we can be sure of at this time is that Otodus was one of the biggest predators of its time.
Amazing ammonite frames. Ammonites survived several major extinctions, the closest living relatives are the cuttlefishes, octopi and squids, they are a crustacean, a mollusc and the last remaining group of ammonites died out around the KT boundary some 65 to 64 million years ago. We do not know for sure how long ammonites lived, some speculate as much as 50 to 60 years or more.
Seriously Spinosaurus. Scientist now knows Spinosaurus was much larger than T.Rex and a more fierce predator or scavenger. Bulkier at around 20 tonnes and longer up to 60 feet, with long (over 1-2m), jaws full of vicious teeth, the dinosaur was first discovered in Egypt at the beginning of the 20 century. The valuable skeleton and bones were destroyed in bombing raids in WWII and not until the late 20th Century when Paul Sereno brought backbones from North Africa, was it that a Spinosaurus skeleton was rebuilt and displayed giving us valuable information about its reign in the cretaceous period as a top predator.
Chomping Carcharodontosaurus reached sizes up to 44 feet and 15 tonnes. So named due to the resemblance of its sabre shaped teeth to the great white shark. This dinosaur was bigger than T.Rex, the bulkier longer cousin is known commonly among palaeontologists as the North African T.Rex. This top predator (along with Spinosaurus), roamed the region we now know as North Africa around 100 to 93 million years ago. The finest teeth come from deposits between Algeria and southern Morocco in the Tegana deposits; these fossil beds also produce many other dinosaur bones and are an ongoing work in progress. This is where our team discover the fossil dinosaur teeth and bones featured in these frames. In 1995 a Carcharodontosaurus fossilised partial skeleton was unearthed alongside Deltadromeus Agilis bones, this led to the theory that the Carcharodontosaurus was the predator of other dinosaurs.
Rapid Raptors. We specialise in North African dinosaur material and these raptor teeth from Morocco are among the finest in condition and preservation. The raptors may have been small in stature however they were big on personality, as was clearly shown in the series of Jurassic park cinema blockbusters, the velociraptor terrorised many. Raptor meaning bird, some scientists theorise dinosaurs are among us now as birds, the raptors were seemingly very aptly named.
Orthocone Orthoceras. These orthocones have intrigued many over the time of modern man, the Greeks mentioned fossils of these animals and the long conical shapes in stone are fascinating when seen in the natural habitat of the Sahara desert. As the late-day sun sets low on the horizon after a hot day working for the fossil beds, we often wend our way back to base and for our team's amusement, water thrown over fossil-bearing limestone highlights the phragmocone of these crustaceans. In the late heat of the day, it is quite an experience to view these ancient and simple forms appear out of dry rock in the depths and vastness of the Western Sahara desert.
Tremendous Turtles. These wonderful animals appeal too many of us, their grace and nature seem as old as the world itself. Here in this illumination, Ben captures the calm, methodical ambling of this ancient reptile through prehistoric seas. In some of these frames, we offer turtle coprolite millions of year’s old. These coprolites are discovered in Madagascar and coprolites are fossilised poo! Palaeontologists often study coprolites from prehistoric animals to gain an insight into the diet, habitat and fauna of the animals prehistoric past.
What other fossils would you like to see in frames, let us know and you could be the lucky recipient that receives one completely free.