Exceedingly rare Diplomystus birdi pycnodont fish and flora from the Silex layers near kem-kem, Taouz, Western Sahara Desert, Morocco. This limestone plate is of the Mesozoic era, Cenomanian age, upper Cretaceous period.
The attractive limestone matrix (fossil limestone bedrock), hosts two rare inclusions. The flora an ‘as yet undescribed’ stout sectional branch and the fauna a bony pycnodont fish. Our close up illustrations above show the fishes anatomy, its skeleton finely exposed. The Cenomanian deposits are roughly contemporaneous with the fossil beds of Jebel Tselfat, Lebanon. This particular find from the region of Taouz, Western Desert, Southern Morocco, North Africa links the two fossil layers in both areas of the world adding to palaeontological knowledge of the range of the Cretaceous and Eocene fishes, their development and habitat.
For further reading references see Yovanovitchi Arambourg 1954. The prehistoric fossil fish is of the pycnodont family, a type of Aipichthyoides, bony fish, another genus of this region was described by Arthur Smith Woodward, Natural History Museum, London circa 1895, as Diplomystus birdi. For recent research on this region and the fossil fishes and fauna search 'Alison Murray paleontologist', the department of biological sciences, Alberta, extensively researching the links between North Africa and the Middle East fauna, including that of freshwater fishes, parachanna fayumensis, Anchichanna kuldanensis, commonly snakehead fish.
The location of the fossil horizon of this specimen aquarium plate is within the silex layers around the kem-kem strata, Taouz, Western Sahara Desert, Morocco. The geological age is from the Mesozoic era, Cenomanian age, upper Cretaceous, approximately 90 - 50 million years ago. The Cretaceous Period last for approximately 70 million years from 135 to 65 mya, when a mass extinction event ended the period.