A very interesting specimen partial jaw which illustrates very well the morphology of the alveoli, the tooth placement sockets, the largest of which is just slightly larger than 12mm diameter. The bone tissue exhibits the small holes which are nerve ending points of the sensory receptors which made the crocodilians such efficient predators in the water, their domain which from early beginnings of the late Cretaceous period the line of crocodyloidea evolved.
The jaw section has been cleaned and conserved in the U.K., it has suffered a break in the excavation. The two pieces of the jaw have been reaffixed. Please view all the clear illustrations above.
The Kem Kem beds were previously better known to palaeontology as the red ironstone levels of the Continental Intercalaire. The region at the time of Elosuchus is thought to be a series of freshwater lagoons, which is today an arid desert region of the northern Sahara ténéré, the Tiniri (as the indigenous Berbers name it), this region of desert.
As the ténéré rarely gives up its prehistoric treasures, here is an opportunity to gain a fossil crocodile element which is scientifically valuable as a study specimen. We have attributed this partial jaw section to the genus Elosuchus cherifiensis through our research of the gharial or gavial crocodile found in this type region of the Ifezouane Formation, found in the Early to Lower Cenomanian stage some 99.7 to 94.3 million years ago. the strata or fossil layer of the Continental Intercalaire, now known to outcrop as part of the Kem Kem beds. An area of raised plateaux or hamada. The stratigraphic environment consists of conglomeratic clay-stones.
For more reference on Elosuchus cherifiensis: R. Lavocat. 1951. Découverte de restes d'un grand Dinosaurian sauropode dans le Crétacé du Sud marocain [Discovery of remains of a large sauropod dinosaur in the Cretaceous of southern Morocco]. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences à Paris 232:169-170 [M. Carrano/M. Carrano]
The fossil stores crocodilian fossils (like our other fossil crocodile specimens) unearth our superb, rare fossil occurrences.
Sarcosuchus an interesting note on a contemporary crocodilian of Cretaceous North Africa. Sarcosuchus imperator weighed as much as ten tons and measured as much as 40 feet (12 metres), in length. Other fossil genera of crocodiles have been discovered in this region, Stomatosuchus (Mouth crocodile), named by Ernst Stromer, famously the describer of the dinosaur Spinosaurus aegypticus (the infamous sailed back fish-eating dinosaur of the Jurassic Park and Jurassic world films and co-existing in the same geographical regions), Laganosuchus (Pancake crocodile) and Kaprosuchus (Boar crocodile), both described by Paul Sereno & Hans Larsson, later in the century, circa 2009.