Kem Kem Group

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Kem Kem Group
Stratigraphic range: Cenomanian[1]
~98–92.5 Ma
TypeGeological group
Sub-unitsDouira Formation, Gara Sbaa Formation
Lithology
PrimarySandstone
Location
RegionEr Rachidia, Tafilalt
Country Morocco
ExtentNorthwestern Sahara
KemKem-fig1-map.jpg
(A) Location of the Kem Kem Group; (B) Contemporary sites in North Africa; (C) Key Cretaceous-aged outcrops

The Kem Kem Group (also referred to by various names including the Kem Kem beds, Continental Red Beds and Continental intercalaire[2]) is a geological group along the Algeria–Morocco border in southeastern Morocco, whose strata date back to the Late Cretaceous. Its strata are subdivided into two geological formations, the older Douira Formation and younger Gara Sbaa Formation.[3]

Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the group.[1] Recent fossil evidence in the form of isolated large abelisaurid bones and comparisons with other similarly aged deposits elsewhere in Africa indicates that the fauna of the Kem Kem Group (specifically in regard to the numerous predatory theropod dinosaurs) may have been mixed together due to the harsh and changing geology of the region when in reality they would likely have preferred separate habitats and likely would be separated by millions of years.[4]

Vertebrate paleofauna[edit]

Fish[edit]

Fishes reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Material Notes Images
Acrodontidae indet.[3] Indeterminate Members of Hybodontoidea.
Life restoration of Aidachar
Rostrum and teeth fossils from Onchopristis
Life restoration of Mawsonia
The Queensland Lungfish, the only living member of Neoceratodus
Adrianaichthys[3] Adrianaichthys pankowskii Isolated scales[5] and two skulls[6] A member of Lepisosteiformes. Originally described as a species of Lepidotes, but subsequently transferred to a separate genus.[7]
Agassizilia[8] Agassizilia erfoudina Possibly a member of the family Pycnodontidae.
Agoultichthys[3] Agoultichthys chattertoni A long-bodied member of Actinopterygii of uncertain phylogenetic placement. Might be a member of the family Macrosemiidae[9] or Ophiopsiellidae.[10]
Aidachar Aidachar pankowskii
Arganodus Arganodus tiguidiensis
Bahariyodon[3] Bahariyodon bartheli A member of Hybodontoidea.
Bartschichthys[3] Bartschichthys sp. Isolated pinnulae (spines that support each dorsal finlet)[3] A cladistian.
Bawitius cf. Bawitius sp. Isolated scales and jaw fragments[5]
Calamopleurus[3] Calamopleurus africanus A partial skull[3] A member of Amiiformes.
Cenocarcharias[3] Cenocarcharias tenuiplicatus One tooth[3] A member of the family Cretoxyrhinidae.
Concavotectum[3] Concavotectum moroccensis A member of Tselfatiiformes.
Dentilepisosteus[3] Dentilepisosteus kemkemensis A member of Lepisosteiformes.
Diplomystus[3] Diplomystus sp. A deep-bodied teleost belonging to the group Clupeomorpha.
Diplospondichthys[3] Diplospondichthys moreaui A member of Actinopterygii of uncertain phylogenetic placement, possibly a teleost.
Distobatus[3] Distobatus nutiae A member of Hybodontoidea.
Erfoudichthys[3] Erfoudichthys rosae Isolated skull[3] A small-bodied teleost of unknown affinity.
Haimirichia[3] Haimirichia amonensis One tooth[3] A mackerel shark.
Marckgrafia[3] Marckgrafia lybica 13 teeth[3] A member of Batoidea.
Mawsonia Mawsonia lavocati
Neoceratodus Neoceratodus africanus
Neoproscinetes[8] Neoproscinetes africanus A member of the family Pycnodontidae.
Obaichthys Obaichthys africanus Isolated scales[5] A member of Lepisosteiformes.
Onchopristis Onchopristis numidus A giant sawfish[11]
Oniichthys Oniichthys falipoui Near complete skeleton including skull[5] A member of Lepisosteiformes.
Palaeonotopterus[3] Palaeonotopterus greenwoodi A member of Osteoglossomorpha.
Peyeria[3] Peyeria libyca Three teeth[3] A sawfish. Might be a junior synonym of Onchopristis numidus.
Serenoichthys[3] Serenoichthys kemkemensis Several articulated skeletons[3] A small cladistian.
Spinocaudichthys[3] Spinocaudichthys oumtkoutensis An elongate freshwater acanthomorph.
Stromerichthys Stromerichthys aethiopicus
Sudania[3] Sudania sp. An isolated pinnula[3] A cladistian.
Tribodus[3] Tribodus sp. A member of Hybodontoidea.

Amphibians[edit]

Amphibians reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Anura indet.[12]

Indeterminate

Partial braincase, jaw fragments and procoelous vertebrae[3]

Fossil material probably pertaining to several species of non-pipid frogs.[3]

cf. Kababisha[12]

Indeterminate

A salamander belonging to the family Sirenidae.

Oumtkoutia[12]

Oumtkoutia anae

A frog belonging to the family Pipidae.

Lizards and snakes[edit]

Lizards and snakes reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Bicuspidon

Bicuspidon hogreli[13]

A polyglyphanodontid lizard.

Jeddaherdan[14]

Jeddaherdan aleadonta

Partial mandible with teeth.

An iguanian belonging to the group Acrodonta, possibly a relative of the uromasticine agamids.

Lapparentophis

Lapparentophis ragei[15]

Two isolated trunk vertebrae

An early snake.

Madtsoiidae indet.[12]

Indeterminate

Vertebrae[3]

An early snake.

?Nigerophiidae indet.[12]

Indeterminate

Dorsal vertebrae[3]

An early snake.

Norisophis[16]

Norisophis begaa[16]

One posterior and two mid-trunk vertebrae

A stem-snake.

Indeterminate[16]

A mid-trunk vertebra

Simoliophis[12]

cf. Simoliophis libycus

Vertebrae[3]

An early snake.

Crocodylomorphs[edit]

Crocodylomorphs reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Aegisuchus

Aegisuchus witmeri

"Partial braincase of a large individual with skull roof, temporal, and occipital regions."[17]

An aegyptosuchid.

Araripesuchus

Araripesuchus rattoides

Elosuchus

Elosuchus cherifiensis

An Elosuchid.

Hamadasuchus

Hamadasuchus rebouli

A Peirosaurid.

Kemkemia

K. auditorei

Errachidia Province, Morocco[18]

Known from an isolated caudal vertebra.[18]

Initially thought to be a neotheropod,[18] but subsequently discovered to be an indeterminate crocodyliform.[19]

Laganosuchus

Laganosuchus maghrebensisis

A Stomatosuchid.

Lavocatchampsa[20]

Lavocatchampsa sigogneaurusselae

Anterior portion of a rostrum with mandible, with an almost complete dentition[20]

A candidodontid notosuchian.[20]

Dinosaurs[edit]

Indeterminate lithostrotian remains once misattributed to the Titanosauridae are present in the province of Ksar-es-Souk, Morocco.[1]

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Dinosaurs reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Abelisauridae indet.[21]

Indeterminate

Isolated teeth.[21]
Partial right femur.[22]

An indeterminate abelisaurid.

Abelisauridae indet.[3]

Indeterminate

Partial right maxilla (UCPC 10)[3]

An indeterminate abelisaurid.

Carcharodontosaurus[1]

C. saharicus[1]

Ksar-es-Souk province, Morocco.[1]

A carcharodontosaurid theropod.

Deltadromeus

D. agilis

"Partial skeleton, isolated limb elements."[23]

A noasaurid ceratosaurian or possible neovenatorid carnosaur. May be synonymous with Bahariasaurus.

Dromaeosauridae indet.[21]

Indeterminate

Isolated teeth.[21]

An indeterminate dromaeosaurid.

cf. Elaphrosaurus

Indeterminate

Ksar-es-Souk province, Morocco.[1]

Fossils previously referred to cf. Elaphrosaurus are actually indeterminate theropod remains.

Noasauridae indet.[24]

Indeterminate

An anterior cervical vertebra[24]

Ornithischia indet.[3]

Indeterminate

An isolated tooth.[3]

A small-bodied ornithischian of uncertain phylogenetic placement, possibly a thyreophoran.[3]

Ornithopoda indet.[25]

Indeterminate

A large, clover-shaped, three-toed footprint.[3]

Comparable in size and shape to tracks typically attributed to Iguanodon.[25]

Rebbachisaurus

R. garasbae

Ksar-es-Souk province, Morocco.[1]

A rebbachisaurid.

Rugops

R. sp.

Left maxilla (MPUR NS 153/02) [24]

An abelisaurid theropod

Saurischia indet.[26]

Indeterminate

An isolated cervical vertebra.[26]

An indeterminate saurischian.

Sauroniops[27]

S. pachytholus

"An isolated and almost complete left frontal."[28]

A carcharodontosaurid distinct from Carcharodontosaurus.[27][28]

Sigilmassasaurus

S. brevicollis

Ksar-es-Souk province, Morocco.

Somphospondyli indet.[29]

Indeterminate

Anterior dorsal vertebra, partial right ischium[29]

The vertebra might belong to a basal titanosaurian, possibly distinct from Aegyptosaurus and Paralititan.[29] The ischium is not identifiable beyond Somphospondyli; it preserves numerous grooves and pits which might be feeding traces left by a very large non-avian theropod.[29]

Spinosaurus

S. aegyptiacus

Ksar-es-Souk province, Morocco.[1]

Theropoda indet.

Indeterminate

An ilium.[30]

A theropod dinosaur of uncertain phylogenetic placement. Originally classified as an abelisaur,[30] but subsequently argued to be a possible tetanuran,[31] or, specifically, a specimen of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus.[24]

Titanosauria indet.[32][3]

Indeterminate

Isolated teeth, caudal vertebrae, a partial humerus, a tarsal bone and the proximal end of an ulna.[3]

Fossil material pertaining to one or more titanosaurian sauropods. Some fossils are indicative of large body size comparable to Paralititan stromeri.[3]

Pterosaurs[edit]

Pterosaurs of the Kem Kem Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Afrotapejara [33]

A. zouhri[33]

A fragment of bone originally interpreted as a fragment of anterior mandibular symphysis,[34] though it might pertain to the rostrum instead.[35]

A tapejarid pterosaur. Originally believed to belong to either the family Thalassodromidae[35] or an additional specimen of Alanqa saharica.[36]

Alanqa[35]

A. saharica[35]

Anhanguera [37]

A. cf. piscator[37]

Partial mandibular symphysis[37]

Apatorhamphus[38]

A. gyrostega[38]

Partial rostrum and mandible[38]

A possible chaoyangopterid azhdarchoid pterosaur.[38] Originally believed to be a possible pteranodontid[35], a possible dsungaripterid[39], a possible non-azhdarchid azhdarchoid or nyctosaurid[39], or a specimen of Alanqa saharica.[36]

Azhdarchidae indet.[39]

Indeterminate[39]

Three middle cervical vertebrae.[39][35]

Averianov (2014) considered these vertebrae to pertain to Alanqa saharica,[36] although the vertebrae may be indicative of two taxa.[39]

Azhdarchoidea indet.[39]

Indeterminate[39]

Humerus.[39]

Averianov (2014) considered it to be a specimen of Alanqa saharica.[36]

Coloborhynchus[40] C. fluviferox[40]
C. sp. A.[37]
Hassi El Begaa Premaxillae fragment
Premaxillae fragment[37]

Ornithocheirus[37]

O. cf. simus.[37]

Premaxillae fragment[37]

Siroccopteryx[41]

S. moroccensis[41]

Classified by some authors as a species belonging to the genus Coloborhynchus.[35]

Xericeps X. curvirostra A mandible fragment

Turtles[edit]

Turtles reported from the Continental Red Beds
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes

Dirqadim

Dirqadim schaefferi

A Euraxemydid

Galianemys

G. emringeri

A Cearachelyin

G. whitei

Hamadachelys

Hamadachelys escuilliei

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Michard, A. (2008). Continental evolution: the geology of Morocco : structure, stratigraphy, and tectonics of the Africa-Atlantic-Mediterranean Triple junction. Published by Springer, 2008. 424 pages. ISBN 3-540-77075-5, ISBN 978-3-540-77075-6
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as Ibrahim, N.; Sereno, P.C.; Varricchio, D.J.; Martill, D.M.; Dutheil, D.B.; Unwin, D.M.; Baidder, L.; Larsson, H.C.E.; Zouhri, S.; Kaoukaya, A. (2020). "Geology and paleontology of the Upper Cretaceous Kem Kem Group of eastern Morocco". ZooKeys. 928: 1–216. doi:10.3897/zookeys.928.47517. PMC 7188693. PMID 32362741.
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  6. ^ https://palaeo-electronica.org/2011_1/239/239.pdf
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