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LordTrilobite

So, lets figure out vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds.

 

As many of you know the Kem Kem beds has a pretty enigmatic palaeo fauna. There is some literature about it, but not a whole lot. Some of it is behind a paywall and much information is pretty scattered. So I got this idea that maybe we could combine our knowledge and information to collectively get a better picture of which bone belongs to which animal, in this case, vertebrae. I know some of you have some fantastic specimens in your collections, if we combine these in this thread we might be able to see some patterns. We probably won't be able to put a genus or species name on each type, but perhaps assigning certain vertebrae to a morphotype might be possible.

 

With that I encourage everyone that has any vertebrae from the Kem Kem beds to share photos of their specimens and post them here so we can use this thread as a sort of library as well as an ID thread that everyone can use to better ID their Kem Kem vertebrae. So please, share your photos! And it might help to number your specimens for easier reference.

 

I will be updating this first post as new information arises with examples to make ID easier.

 

Theropods

 

Spinosaurids

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

Spinosaurus is known for it's tall neural spines, which are pretty characteristic. Unlike Sigilmassasaurus, Spinosaurus does not have the ventral triangular rough plateau on the centra

 

Spinosaurus mid cervical vertebra

fig-17-2x.jpg

 

Spinosaurus dorsal, sacral and caudal vertebrae

Spinosaurus_vertebrae.pngSpinosaurus_holotype.jpg

 

Caudal vertebrae

Nearly complete tail from the neotype specimen of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

7.thumb.jpg.23fc69a45f5ee52b7713cececbb2cb2c.jpg

 

Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis

Sigilmassasaurus is a Spinosaurid that might be closely related to Baryonyx and Suchomimus. It differs from Spinosaurus in that it has a ventral keel on many vertebrae and a triangular rough plateau on the bottom back end.

593px-Neck_reconstructions_of_Sigilmassa

A is Sigilmassasaurus, B is Baryonyx

 

Sigilmassasaurus cervical vertebrae

From anterior to posterior

1200px-Sigilmassasaurus_vertebra.pngfig-5-1x.jpgfig-6-2x.jpgfig-8-2x.jpg

 

Sigilmassasaurus dorsal vertebrae

fig-9-2x.jpgfig-12-2x.jpgfig-13-2x.jpg

 

Indeterminate Spinosaurid vertebrae

Not a whole lot has been published yet, some bones can probably not be ID'd on genus level.

 

Spinosaurid caudal vertebrae

 

Anterior caudal: From LordTrilobite's collection

Spinosaurus_sp_vert_caudal02.jpg.adb4c88c3f8adc206c93af0c39c62df5.jpg

Mid-posterior caudal: From Paleoworld-101's collection

IMG_2474.JPGIMG_2467.JPG

Mid-posterior caudal: From LordTrilobite's collection

This caudal vertebra is less tall and more pinched in the middle of the centrum than the one from Paleoworld-101's collection. Likely due to a slightly more posterior position.

Spinosaurus_sp_vert_caudal03.jpg.13521b00b7ba898be51ea04f522d893f.jpg

 

Mid-posterior caudal: From LordTrilobite's collection

Spinosaurus_sp_vert_caudal01.jpg.b3d6c3e213c7be68b5e0af433ba7a42a.jpg

 

Carcharodontosaurids

Due to an old paper Sigilmassasaurus vertebrae are sometimes misidentified as Carcharodontosaurid. These vertebrae should be identified on the basis of the original description by Stromer.

Two species of Carcharodontosaurids are known from the Kem Kem beds at this time.  Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and Sauroniops pachytholus.

 

Carcharodontosaurid cervical vertebrae

fig-24-2x.jpg

 

Deltadromeus agilis

Deltadromeus_2.jpg?mtime=1379693747

Anterior (left) and mid (right) caudals

vert_caudals01.jpg.3c94cd99b0a0cd23aec806270893640b.jpg

better examples needed

 

Abelisauroids

 

Indeterminate Abelisauroid distal caudal

From LordTrilobite's collection

 

Abelisauroid_caudal_vert01.jpg.0a46357fb1556160ef42c1810881ddb5.jpg

 

 

Abelisaurid dorsal vertebrae

From Troodon's collection

ZRebach1b.jpg.8e51a40ca7caf8213adc9739116ad485.jpgZRebach1a.jpg.99728341e91bf6d9b4ca81fd0d3df014.jpg

 

 

 

Sauropods

 

Rebbachisaurus garasbae

Not a whole lot is known about this titanosaur, as only a few bones have been found. Notice that the vertebrae are very extensively pneumaticised.

rebbachisaurus_skeletal_by_palaeozoologi

Rebbachisaurus dorsal vertebrae

Rebbachisaurus_garasbae_vertebra.JPGScreenshot_20171123-060947.jpgScreenshot_20171123-061007.jpg

Sauropod mid caudal vertebra. Possibly Rebbachisaurid.

Screenshot_20180503-044117.thumb.jpg.0938d10947fa1a98a30f869844a43baa.jpg

 

Unnamed Titanosaurian mid caudal vertebra

FIGURE-2-FSAC-KK-7000-an-isolated-middle

 

Crocodilomorphs

more examples needed

 

Kemkemia

This crocodile is only known by a single posterior caudal vertebra.

Kemkemia caudal vertebra

Fig. 2(3).jpg

 

Turtles

examples needed

 

Pterosaurs

Azhdarchids

 

Azhdarchid (probably Alanqa) posterior fragment cervical vertebra

journal.pone.0010875.g005

 

Azhdarchid Mid cervical vertebra

azhdarchid_midcervical01.thumb.jpg.28c28a81ac655ee2b10b95673ddfba83.jpgazhdarchid_midcervical02.thumb.jpg.07beb077a5d941d5e009820c2983de55.jpg

 

 

Sources

Spinosaurids

https://peerj.com/articles/1323/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_campaign=PeerJ_TrendMD_1&utm_medium=TrendMD

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144695

 

Sauropods

Jeffrey A. Wilson & Ronan Allain (2015) Osteology of Rebbachisaurus garasbae Lavocat, 1954, a diplodocoid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the early Late Cretaceous–aged Kem Kem beds of southeastern Morocco, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35:4, e1000701, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.1000701

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304214496_Evidence_of_a_derived_titanosaurian_Dinosauria_Sauropoda_in_the_Kem_Kem_beds_of_Morocco_with_comments_on_sauropod_paleoecology_in_the_Cretaceous_of_Africa

 

Kemkemia

sisn.pagepress.org/index.php/nhs/article/viewFile/nhs.2012.119/32

 

Pterosaurs

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefossilforum.com%2Fapplications%2Fcore%2Finterface%2Ffile%2Fattachment.php%3Fid%3D432009&fname=journal.pone.0010875.PDF&pdf=true

https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/RIPS/article/view/5967

 

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LordTrilobite

So I'll start here with my own Kem Kem vertebrae. Most of the are quite incomplete, which makes identification harder of course.

I have a few of them figured out. But others are quite problematic.

kemkem_verts01.jpg.491655fe7ddcfd9b9f88d3c785b23365.jpg

 

 

Here are the side and top views. Gimme a shout if I need to make some better photos of specific specimens. I've numbered all of them for easier reference.

 

Numbers 1 to 3 are all clearly Spinosaurid and likely Sigilmassasaurus due to the small neural process and strong keels.

Nr. 2 threw me off a bit since it's so incredibly small but the morphology seems pretty consistent with Sigilmassasaurus.

Nr. 4 compared well with a Carcharodontosaurid vertebra @Troodon once posted on the forum, though I still have my doubts if my ID is correct. It's a pretty fragmentary chunk ofc.

Nr. 5 looks like a croc cervical to me but it being concave at both ends is throwing me off as most good examples I can find of croc verts have a convex end as well.

Nr. 6 should be identifiable as it's a complete neural arch, it seems to compare favourably to the cervicals of some crocs. And the zygapophyses on the front and back seem much to wide and oriented wrong to be Theropod.

kemkem_verts02.thumb.jpg.9f5c2fa6f2a27522185e38daab5626fd.jpgkemkem_verts02_1.thumb.jpg.ba4a913d05f5a595fd71f0d8a5bf52bb.jpg

Nr. 1

Nr. 3

 

 

Nr. 7 is my largest Kem Kem vertebra, the size along eliminates a lot of animals. it's much too fat around the middle for any Spinosaurid imo. It seems quite heavily built so I think Sauropods can be ruled out as well. So the only really gigantic animals that are left are Carcharodontosaurids.

Nr. 8 is a really weird one that I cannot place. It's quite fat, but also hollow in places and the centrum has one side at an angle. Due to it being hollow makes me think it's Theropod but I haven't been able to find a match yet.

Nr. 9 is the back end of a sacrum. It compares pretty well to crocs, it seems fairly heavily built and the centrum is wider than tall.

Nr. 10 I bought this one as a Deltadromeus vertebra. But I can't find any good reference of this animal so I dunno.

Nr. 11 a dorsal vert with a rather wide neural canal, no clue really.

Nr. 12 A nice little fragment, but not very informative. Don't think this can be ID'd

kemkem_verts03.thumb.jpg.3eb18f142d79f1f1566247506d1b65bc.jpgkemkem_verts03_1.thumb.jpg.dd7b074d184be2d875a774bd182a9544.jpg

Nr. 8

Nr. 9

Nr. 10

 

Nr. 13 A rather tall caudal vert that compares well with vertebrae attributed to Spinosaurids. But it's hard to find any really good reference.

Nr. 14 Really latterally flat caudal vert, theropod?

Nr. 15 caudal vert from near the end of the tail, also seems pretty slenderly built. Theropod?

Nr. 16 and 17 Though 17 is much more damaged, the centra are the exact same shape. Also fairly slender.

Nr. 18 I've posted this weird vertebra on the forum before as it's really bizarre. The centrum has a lateral pinch in the middle and directly above it there is a bulbous area that flares out to the sides. The consensus on the forum was that this is likely from a crocodile.

Nr. 19 Another weird caudal from the very end of the tail. What's strange about this one is that the neural canal is really wide. I read somewhere that such a wide neural canal in this area of the tail is common for crocs.

Nr. 20 A really small anterior caudal vertebra of a dinosaur. It has some hollow areas and it compares well with Theropods. But I haven't been able to find a good match yet. Judging from the size I'd say this animal was probably no bigger than 2 metres.

kemkem_verts04.thumb.jpg.db18d6d66362938997408886f4c5b551.jpgkemkem_verts04_1.thumb.jpg.41e12708e0dedf534ac2ff97266e7695.jpg

Nr. 20

 

 

So those are my vertebrae from Kem Kem so far. I'd suggest people start posting theirs so we can compare them in the hopes that we might learn more about them.

 

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Citizen science at its very best!! What a fantastic idea. I wish I had something to contribute but I will certainly follow this thread with interest.

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Nice thread - needed but I'm not sure we have enough information from publications to really make a positive determination on vertebrae in our collections with a few exceptions.   Most should be labeled theropod indet.   Trying to even assign it to a family other than cervical Sigilmassasaurus is difficult.   What I find most difficult is differentiating between Theropod and Croc and most sellers lean toward Theropod.

 

If not listed hard for me to make any determination

NR1 for example - it may be a Sigilmassasaurus but unless you can compare your specimen to other large theropods it may be something else

NR3 - Spinosaurid indet.

NR5 - Agree

NR7 - Agree

NR11 - Agree but could be a caudal

NR13 - Theropod indet

NR14 to 16 - Agree

NR 18 - Agree

NR20 - I believe is a Crocodile

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Some of my Vertebrae

Turtle?  Cervical 5" long  (12.7 cm)

Unknown4.thumb.jpg.b9a61793b842288309657814d716bac6.jpgUnknown4a.thumb.jpg.ba7cad930a6b0e26593ede25d4456b22.jpg

 

Caudal of unknown Theropod

 

ZThero2.thumb.jpg.cc038c7c3070ae90c7b942915cd472a7.jpg

 

Croc or Theropod?

Caudal Vertebra

 

ZVert1A.thumb.jpg.9190abb06389602f0bf199e4f24e3881.jpgZVert1.thumb.jpg.b7a30d0048abf024a1d7a4b9c764c5b5.jpg

 

 

 

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Thank you for posting this any chance we could get that description of carchardonosaurus by stromer?

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LordTrilobite

I've updated the first post with Kemkemia. a crocodile known only by a single caudal vertebra.

 

And I'm glad to see more photos already!

20 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Nice thread - needed but I'm not sure we have enough information from publications to really make a positive determination on vertebrae in our collections with a few exceptions.   Most should be labeled theropod indet.   Trying to even assign it to a family other than cervical Sigilmassasaurus is difficult.   What I find most difficult is differentiating between Theropod and Croc and most sellers lean toward Theropod.

 

If not listed hard for me to make any determination

NR1 for example - it may be a Sigilmassasaurus but unless you can compare your specimen to other large theropods it may be something else

NR3 - Spinosaurid indet.

NR5 - Agree

NR7 - Agree

NR11 - Agree but could be a caudal

NR13 - Theropod indet

NR14 to 16 - Agree

NR 18 - Agree

NR20 - I believe is a Crocodile

Nr. 1 and 3 are both pretty much identical to two specimens in the Evers paper on Sigilmassasaurus. Nr.1 being almost comparable to the holotype of Spinosaurus maroccanus, which is considered a synonym of Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis. And I agree with that. Nr.3 is comparable to a vertebra that Evers tentatively attributes to Sigilmassasaurus. So I feel confident in saying that nr.1 is definitely Sigilmassasaurus and nr.3 is probably referable to this genus as well.

Nr. 11 caudal? that's interesting I'll have to investigate that.

Nr. 20 All the dinosaur experts at the museum say this a caudal vert from a dinosaur. And as I said, it's also hollow in places. Though I will definitely look into the possibility of it being croc.

Thanks for the comments!

 

15 minutes ago, Troodon said:

Some of my Vertebrae

Turtle?  Cervical 5" long  (12.7 cm)

Unknown4.thumb.jpg.b9a61793b842288309657814d716bac6.jpgUnknown4a.thumb.jpg.ba7cad930a6b0e26593ede25d4456b22.jpg

 

Caudal of unknown Theropod

ZThero2.thumb.jpg.cc038c7c3070ae90c7b942915cd472a7.jpg

 

Croc or Theropod?

Caudal Vertebra

ZVert1A.thumb.jpg.9190abb06389602f0bf199e4f24e3881.jpgZVert1.thumb.jpg.b7a30d0048abf024a1d7a4b9c764c5b5.jpg

That possible turtle vert looks pretty interesting. How sure are you of this ID? Because if you're pretty sure I can add photos to the first post for reference. If that's okay of course.

 

Your second vertebra of an unknown theropod looks pretty similar to my nr. 15 caudal vert. Though yours is more complete, both seem to have a ridge running along the sides of the centrum (it might not be very visible in my photo but it looks pretty similar to yours imo).

 

That third vertebra reminds me of that caudal vert of Kemkemia, which is a croc. So I would lean more towards croc than theropod.

12 minutes ago, Haravex said:

Thank you for posting this any chance we could get that description of carchardonosaurus by stromer?

Sadly I don't have it. So I only posted the Carcharodontosaurus vert that was in Evers' paper about Sigilmassasaurus. Apparently that ID was based on the original description of Stromer.

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8 minutes ago, LordTrilobite said:

I've updated the first post with Kemkemia. a crocodile known only by a single caudal vertebra.

 

And I'm glad to see more photos already!

Nr. 1 and 3 are both pretty much identical to two specimens in the Evers paper on Sigilmassasaurus. Nr.1 being almost comparable to the holotype of Spinosaurus maroccanus, which is considered a synonym of Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis. And I agree with that. Nr.3 is comparable to a vertebra that Evers tentatively attributes to Sigilmassasaurus. So I feel confident in saying that nr.1 is definitely Sigilmassasaurus and nr.3 is probably referable to this genus as well.

Nr. 11 caudal? that's interesting I'll have to investigate that.

Nr. 20 All the dinosaur experts at the museum say this a caudal vert from a dinosaur. And as I said, it's also hollow in places. Though I will definitely look into the possibility of it being croc.

Thanks for the comments!

 

That possible turtle vert looks pretty interesting. How sure are you of this ID? Because if you're pretty sure I can add photos to the first post for reference. If that's okay of course.

 

Your second vertebra of an unknown theropod looks pretty similar to my nr. 15 caudal vert. Though yours is more complete, both seem to have a ridge running along the sides of the centrum (it might not be very visible in my photo but it looks pretty similar to yours imo).

 

That third vertebra reminds me of that caudal vert of Kemkemia, which is a croc. So I would lean more towards croc than theropod.

 

 

First vert, not sure at all was sold to me as a pterosaur:) by knowledgeable people. 

Second vert, agree

That third vert could be a Kemkemia, I've looked at it before but other than the location of the spine the other features are different and we only have the one in the holotype to compare against.  However would lean more toward croc than theropod,

 

 

 

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LordTrilobite

Well naturally it would be a little different from Kemkemia since your 3rd vertebra has lateral processes. So it's further up the tail in position, while the holotype of Kemkemia looks to be pretty far down the tail.

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I said that N11 could be caudal and although neural canal is not as wide as yours it widens closer to the hip.  Struthie. 

IMG_0584.thumb.jpg.d420803480f6c1ffcd1ff28303e64ab1.jpg

 

 I believe your last vert is crock because the spine should be flat it has ribs in it somewhat similiar to the photo.  Also the Centrum is bowed (arched) typical of croc's. 

 

DSC_0257.thumb.jpg.52f0a46edc8f32beb3522835269200ce.jpg

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Took some quick pictures of my one armed croc vert. Out of focus  Phone pic...will send some better ones next week, holiday week, traveling.

20171121_121419_20171121123351373.jpg.b041cab047e6a200acdf3c8290999499.jpg20171121_121429_20171121123608116.jpg.4ea311d256d59644ef2cd1ae28c515b3.jpg20171121_121438_20171121123315542.jpg.da375252c47a71cf9d5b857ec5d53951.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Great thread Olof. 

 

Ive got a couple of what I think are theropod caudal verts, they’re at work so will photograph them when I’m in next but I do have a spino at home which I’ll post later today. 

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My contribution to this thread i've gone with most of them having too little characteristics to id, but maybe can add something to the understanding of vertebrae material from the kem kem region.

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Took some additional pictures of the cf Kemkemia vert.  Neural canal its smaller still and faces of the two ends on the Kemkimia are not parallel, they are on my specimen.  Still unclear to me.

 

 

Spinosaurid caudal.  Largest image I could find from new Spino paper

 

post-10955-0-35055600-1410473402.jpg.e451a6943d70036899cebd253a964464.jpg

 

20171121_125848.jpg

20171121_125814.jpg

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The smallest one was suggested by troodon to be turtle or reptile might be nice to add to your id guide.

20171121_204613.jpg

20171121_204650.jpg

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20171121_204751.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Haravex said:

The smallest one was suggested by troodon to be turtle or reptile might be nice to add to your id guide.

20171121_204613.jpg

20171121_204650.jpg

20171121_204731.jpg

20171121_204751.jpg

20171121_204826.jpg

20171121_204847.jpg

Looks like croc

11 minutes ago, Haravex said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ok that one could be added to the post i will try and get a better more overview friendly image of it tomorrow and better quality trying to take pictures at night time is a bit hard.

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You may want to consider using Fruitbats library to see whats PDF's are available from South America or other localities where similar families exist.  Here is one I looked at and a couple of uncropped pages of a Carch from Argentina

 

Coria, R.A. and P.J. Currie (2006). A new carcharodontosaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. Geodiversitas, 28(1).

 

Screenshot_2017-11-21-14-01-14.thumb.png.7e78bc85e2a7479cb337698b29f6bdc8.pngScreenshot_2017-11-21-14-01-45.thumb.png.8d1027f90a2be5497a27e21405aa39ff.png

 

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Pterosauria

 

Azhdarchidae Nessov, 1984
Azhdarchidae indet.

 

Material: Mid-cervical vertebrae (CMN 50801 and LINHM 014)

 

5a1498c6ca181_Fig.2.thumb.jpg.c2891b4b42f5d492e91da27ad600a984.jpg5a1498ca25420_Fig.3.thumb.jpg.ea408371bd0fe67fcc04eb5fb4977bcb.jpg5a1498ce57ea9_Fig.4.thumb.jpg.d11c7af847c8e93ae26ceddd456a92b5.jpg

 

reference: T. Rodrigues. 2011. New pterosaur specimens from the Kem Kem beds (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian) of Morocco. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, vol. 117, no. 1: 149-160

 

 

Azhdarchidae gen. et sp. indet.

 

Material. A fragment of the posterior termination of a midseries cervical vertebra (FSAC-KK 34); (Figures 5 and 6, Table 2).
Locality. Aferdou N’Chaft, near Begaa, Province d’Errachidia, Morocco, 30. 53. 51 230 N 3. 52. 13 420 E.
Horizon. Kem Kem beds, Cenomanian [32].

 

5a14a29e71284_Figure5.thumb.jpg.6872bdaec6f7e93d154438a0cf9370fc.jpg5a14a2863250c_Figure6.thumb.jpg.5e04e8c65e6a9af3aabb24fd32817038.jpg

reference: N. Ibrahim et al. 2010. A New Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco. PLoS ONE 5(5): 1-11

 

"Other azhdarchid material from the Kem Kem Beds. In addition to the jaw remains assigned to Alanqa and the fragmentary cervical, described above, several additional fossils from the Kem Kem beds have been identified as azhdarchid. These include a complete mid-series cervical [25], a large humerus, another cervical vertebra and a fragmentary rostrum [63]. We are also aware of further undescribed specimens including a well preserved cervical vertebra that appear to be azhdarchid. Alanqa is still insufficiently well known for us to be able to demonstrate that some, possibly all, of this postcranial material belongs to this
pterosaur, thus no formal assignments are made here. However, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we think it reasonable to assume that all these azhdarchid remains likely pertain to Alanqa. "

 

 

 

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Sauropoda Marsh, 1878

Neosauropoda Bonaparte, 1986
Titanosauriformes Salgado, Coria, and Calvo, 1997
Titanosauria Bonaparte and Coria, 1993
Lithostrotia Upchurch, Barrett, and Dodson, 2004

 

Material. FSAC-KK 7000, an isolated middle caudal vertebra accessioned in the collections of the Université Hassan II (Faculté des Sciences Aïn Chock), Casablanca, Morocco.
Age and horizon. “Kem Kem beds,” middle Cretaceous (possibly Albian to lower Cenomanian). The specimen was surfacecollected by a local man and had likely eroded out of the lower Kem Kem unit. No associated remains were found despite an extensive search of the vicinity.
Locality. Gara Sbaa area, Er Rachidia Province, Morocco.

 

Ibrahimetal2016-evidenceofderivedtitanosaurinmKKemKembedsMorocco.thumb.jpg.5899fb5c3848b4db1977d32bdfdac376.jpg

reference: N. Ibrahim et al. 2016. Evidence of a derived titanosaurian (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) in the “Kem Kem beds” of Morocco, with comments on sauropod paleoecology in the Cretaceous of Africa. In A. Khosla, S.G. Lucas (eds), Cretaceous Period: Biotic Diversity and Biogeography. vol. 71, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico, pp. 149-159.

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Bad quality images (phone) of my spino vert. It needs a lot of work on it and there’s lots reconstruction that’s bad to say the least but it was ridiculously cheap from a very well regarded dealer.

 

361CF1AB-604B-4129-B293-93172A5D01B7.thumb.jpeg.578cf215aef4d16d4fbd7f58be782ed4.jpeg539D42AC-C0C9-4913-B851-1AB970E79FF5.thumb.jpeg.18e690be06fa93821c8c9b6c791d9403.jpegA20A2333-8FCD-483D-9DC3-344E4AE098A3.thumb.jpeg.9df0f0fbd388463e62d3761d310cd9f5.jpeg 

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