A superb complete tooth of one of the most fierce crocodilian predators yet discovered in the region of Moroccan, North Africa. The beautifully dark and deep patina of the mahogany colour enamel is the first striking feature which captivates the author. Next the overall condition of the tooth, unbroken, complete exhibiting clear distinct morphology. The tooth crown is fine, the apical enamel, around 4mm from the apical tip is rippled and of a slightly darker colour, having a less glossy appearance to the rest of the body of the tooth crown, this shows the evidence of feeding wear. The two carinae cutting edges have full serrations which can be seen and felt, this is rare to discover in teeth of this size, also the root is still attached.
An apex collector tooth of the extinct apex marine predator, the stout strong teeth were the grasping and shredding end of the large ferocious reptilian water margin hunter which made the early crocodylomorpha such efficient predators of their domain, from the early beginnings of the Upper Cretaceous period, the line of crocodyloidea evolved.
The Kem Kem beds were previously known to palaeontological science as the Red Ironstone levels of the Continental Intercalaire. The region at the time of Elosuchus is thought to be as series of freshwater lagoons and a sea separating the austral continents of Gondwana and the terrestrial boreal masses of Laurasia, which is today an arid desert region of the northern Sahara ténéré or Tiniri (as the indigenous Berbers name it). During the Upper Cretaceous period North Africa was a humid region crocodylomorpha lived in this delta along with other marine dwellers the early fishes, pterosaurs and semi aquatic and land living dinosaurs. These early crocodylomorpha preyed upon coelacanths and other early lungfish. We have representations in our catalogue of fossil fishes unearthed in the Kem Kem basin. This paints a picture of the life forms and environment of the region during the Cretaceous age.
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 tooth 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 claystones.
For more reference on Elosuchus cherifiensis: R. Lavocat. 1951. Découverte de restes d'un grand Dinosaurien 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 genus 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.