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New sauropod



The first record of a sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous phosphates of 
Morocco

Xabier Pereda Suberbiola, Nathalie Bardet, Mohamed Iarochène, Baâdi Bouya, 
Mbarek
Amaghzaz

Abstract
Sauropod dinosaur remains have been discovered recently in the Late Cretaceous
(Maastrichtian) phosphatic deposits of the Oulad Abdoun Basin, near Khouribga
(central Morocco). The material consists of right hindlimb bones (femur, tibia 
and
fibula) from a small-sized individual. The marine associated fauna, mainly
selachians, actinopterygians, turtles, mosasaurids and plesiosaurs, suggests a
marine depositional environment, so that the dinosaur remains may be a remnant 
of a
floating carcass. The femur exhibits a prominent lateral bulge on the proximal
one-third, a diagnostic feature of Titanosauriformes. The Moroccan sauropod 
lacks
synapomorphies of Titanosauria and less inclusive clades (i.e., distal tibia
expanded transversely to twice mid-shaft breadth; femoral distal condyles angled
dorsomedially relative to the shaft); therefore, it is here assigned to a basal
titanosauriform as Titanosauriformes indet. This is the first sauropod reported
from the Maastrichtian of Morocco and one of the few dinosaur records from
the uppermost Cretaceous formations of northern Africa. This discovery confirms 
the
wide geographical distribution of Titanosauriformes during the Late Cretaceous 
and
supports their survival into the Late Maastrichtian of Africa.

Journal of African Earth Sciences.

Regards,
Bruno