Spinosaurid jaw section in an excellent state of preservation after conservation here in the Lab in England. The section of the right maxilla (upper jaw), having four dental alveoli (teeth sockets), placements, these exhibit the ovoid sectional shape, along with the raised foramen or canal groove of the Spinosaurid genus. We have attributed the jaw section to Stromers, Spinosaurus moroccanus. Spinosaurus maroccanus. Russell, 1996 Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis. Russell, 1996. Spinosaurus, meaning; spine lizard, is a genus of theropod dinosaur.
The bone structure is lightweight for size, this an indication of the theropod predators skeletal build. For speed the bone would be filled with honey coned air pocket structure, aiding strength and giving the dinosaur agility, being lighter meant being able to out run or out manoeuvre its prey. An archetypical surface patination of pink hues for this location of the Red Sandstone beds of Kem Kem formation, Morocco.
Fossil bones often demonstrate iron red or dark maroon tones due to the heavy content of iron in the fossil bed at Kem Kem. When the dinosaur would have been laid down eons ago. The heavy concentrations of minerals in the muds influenced the outcome of the colour of the fossilised remains. The environment was thought to be one of lakes, semi tropical lagoons, so there was ample opportunity for the bones of the dinosaurs to be covered in an anoxic situation and their remains to be preserved.
In this particular jaw section the iron influence can only be seen as a pinkish hue in the spongy blood vessel structure and of a faint pink tone on the bleached white jaw bone, which is very attractive and archetypical surface patina of this location of the Red Sandstone beds. The section has undergone some light cleaning conservation and is now stable and very presentable.
Discoveries From the Kem Kem fossil layers have been some of the most renowned dinosaurian finds of recent times. The likes of the mighty theropod Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, the apex-predator of the prehistoric Cretaceous of East Gondwana, Spinosaurus aegypticus the largest semi aquatic theropod carnivore, the similarly sail or humped backed sauropod Rebbachisaurus, ultra fast dromaeosaurs, enormous crocodiles and enigmatic pterosaurs. The fossil beds of the continental intercalaire at the Kem Kem formation lie across the border between Morocco and Algeria. An area of Hamada (raised plateaux), this is mined in the upper layers of the continental intercalaire cliff face. Here the indeginous Berber fossil hunters burrow triangular shaped caves into soft granular rock cliff faces. These burrows often traverse some distance, up to metres into the congealed aggregate sandy red rock, always unshored, without timber structure or any other supporting device, timber and all else being in short supply in the local of the ténéré region. A seemingly never ending landscape of scrubby rock strewn desert ridges, Hamada, low lying hills and mountains, this region is the termination of the North Africa mountain ranges which fall away into the flat undulations of the western desert.
Gondwana began to break up in the early Jurassic and the early Cretaceous (about 184 to 132 million years ago) accompanied by massive eruptions of basalt lava, as East Gondwana, comprising Antarctica, Madagascar, India, and Australia, began to separate from Africa. The discovery of this Calamopleurus fish in Morocco which is twinned to the Brazilian Calamopleurus, alights to the geographical amalgamation of West Gondwana by continental collision during the Brasiliano/Pan-African orogenies. A great study fish fossil element which merits further study.
The specimen originating from the lower Cretaceous fossil bed of the Taouz oases in Morocco. The fossil layers in the Kem Kem formation are around 200 feet thick. The layers at the point where this fossil fish was unearthed are marly carbonate overlaying a carbonate escarpment. The ferruginous sandstones lie midway up this section. This area was previously known as the continental Intercalaire (Lavocat, 1954; Joly, 1962; Tabaste, 1963) and is now more well known as the Kem Kem beds (Sereno al.,1996).