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Dinosaurs from Early Cretaceous of Tunisia
From: Ben Creisler
A new online paper. Preview at link shows theropod teeth.
Federico Fanti, Michela Contessi & Fulvio Franchi (2012)
The “Continental Intercalaire” of southern Tunisia: stratigraphy,
paleontology, and paleoecology.
Journal of African Earth Sciences (advance online publication)
The “Continental Intercalaire” deposits of southern Tunisia preserve
one of the most diverse Early Cretaceous vertebrate fauna from Africa,
consisting of elasmobranchs, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians,
turtles, crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and non-avian dinosaurs.
Vertebrate remains representative of both marine and fluvial
environments have been historically referred to a specific bonebed
within the Chenini Member, which crops out extensively in the
Tataouine region. A stratigraphic revision of the mainly siliciclastic
deposits of the Douiret and the Aïn El Guettar formations in the area
based on new sedimentological and paleontological data is presented.
Data collected indicate the presence of multiple fossil-bearing strata
encompassing the stratigraphic interval from the Berriasian to the
Albian and document faunal variation through time as well as major
environmental and climatic changes. Detailed sedimentological analysis
combined with biostratigraphic correlation performed at a basin scale
indicate lateral facies variability within each formation as a result
of tectonically and climatically driven zonations within the Tataouine
Basin in the Early Cretaceous. Furthermore, proposed stratigraphic
correlations indicate that vertebrate remains previously referred to
the fluvial Chenini Member (and in particular theropod and sauropod
dinosaurs) are instead representative of a transgressive deposit which
mark the base of the overlying Oum ed Diab Member.