A dinosaur sacral Vertebra discovered in the Saharan Western desert regions of South East Morocco. The sacrum represents an essential element for understanding the Dinosauria clade, beginning with the first use of the taxon name by Richard Owen in 1841 a five-vertebra sacrum was initially considered diagnostic of sauropods and theropod dinosaur anatomy.
The vertebra is of robust proportions and good preservation. The fossil vertebrae from a large adult individual, the colour of a light caramel staining influenced by the mineral content of the fossil layer, by a process of per-mineralisation the tissues of the bone are at a molecular level petrified and eventually fossilised over a long period of time. Dinosaur bones of this quality of preservation are rarely discovered, with later careful cleaning conservation in the Fossil Lab. The bone surface free of matrix and exposed exhibiting fine overall anatomical detail and in a good state of preservation. View all our illustrations to access the overall completeness of this fossil vertebra.
Often Moroccan fossil diggers seal or cover over damaged or stressed bone finds with fixatives or cosmetically coloured fillers. This can have a negative aesthetic result for any future collector or for scientific study, until at such time that these additives can be removed in the laboratory environment by a skilful technician. Often the covering over of what is assumed defects (palaeontologists, scientists and collectors find more interesting and appealing), becomes unappealing, often obvious when the fillers and additives are applied. Fortunately, field repairs can normally be undone and a further restoration and preservation can be carried out correctly.
This dinosaur vertebrae is from the same fossil horizon where Nizar Ibrahim made a significant Spinosaurid find, in a detective tale which unfolded in the southern part of Morocco. The bones which led to the eventual discovery of a partial skeleton Nizar finally identified in Italy and with the help of Paul Serrano from the museum of Chicago excavated bones to complete a partial skeleton back in Chicago. These bones found on the slopes of the Red Beds Hamada in the western desert. A replica skeleton of that partial skeleton was composited together from bones from various museum sources and went on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., The exhibition of Spinosaurus, Lost Giant of the Cretaceous Period in April 2015. This current exhibit illustrated above was discovered in Morocco between 2013 to 2014 made its way to a European source and was secured later by our fossil team.
Genus Attrib: Theropod, Dinosauria, Owen 1842.
Age: Mesozoic era, Cretaceous period, Albian to lower Cenomanian stages 112 to 97 million years ago.
Origin: Tegana formation, Kem Kem, Northern Sahara, Morocco, North Africa.
Dorsal vertebra measurements.
Length: 15.5 cm
Width: 17.5 cm
Height: 9.5 cm
Approximate weight: 1,066 g