Ouled Abdoun Basin

Coordinates: 32°53′N 6°55′W / 32.883°N 6.917°W / 32.883; -6.917
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ouled Abdoun Basin
The Oulad Abdoun and other major phosphate basins (in yellow) of Morocco
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofSedimentary Basins
Coordinates32°53′N 6°55′W / 32.883°N 6.917°W / 32.883; -6.917
RegionBéni Mellal-Khénifra, Khouribga
Country Morocco
Ouled Abdoun Basin is located in Morocco
Ouled Abdoun Basin
Ouled Abdoun Basin (Morocco)

The Oulad Abdoun Basin (also known as the Ouled Abdoun Basin or Khouribga Basin) is a

Eocene epoch (Ypresian), a period of about 25 million years.[3]


The Oulad Abdoun is located west of the Atlas Mountains, near the city of Khouribga. The Oulad Abdoun phosphate deposits encompass some 100 by 45 kilometres (62 by 28 mi), an area of 4,500 square kilometres (1,700 sq mi).[2] The Oulad Abdoun is the largest and northernmost of Morocco's major phosphate basins, which from northeast to southwest, include the Ganntour, Meskala, and Oued Eddahab (Laayoune-Baa) basins.[1][2]


Life restoration
of Ouled Abdoun Basin during the late cretaceous: paleofauna roaming on land (left) and sea (right).

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

The Oulad Abdoun Basin stretches from the late Cretaceous to the Eocene and contains abundant marine vertebrate fossils, including

sea birds and a small number of terrestrial mammals.[3][4]

Bony fish

Bony fish
from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Indeterminate Maastrichtian First record of a sturgeon on the continent of Africa.
Enchodus E. libycus Maastrichtian An enchodontid aulopiform.
E. bursauxi Maastrichtian
E. elegans Maastrichtian
Eoserrasalmimus[6] E. cattoi Maastrichtian A
Mawsoniidae[7] Indeterminate Maastrichtian A giant
mawsoniid coelacanth
measuring 3.65–5.52 metres (12.0–18.1 ft) long.
Phacodus[8] P. punctatus var. africanus Maastrichtian A pycnodontiform.
Plethodidae[9] Indeterminate Maastrichtian Youngest occurrence of plethodid fish.
Pycnodontidae Indeterminate Maastrichtian
Pseudoegertonia P. sp. Maastrichtian
Serrasalmimus[6] S. secans Thanetian A carnivorous pycnodontiform.
Stephanodus S. libycus Maastrichtian
Stratodus S. apicalis Maastrichtian An


Sharks from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Abdounia[10] A. africana Selandian A requiem shark.
Casieria C. maghrebiana Selandian
Chiloscyllium C. salvani. Selandian A carpet shark.
Cretalamna C. appendiculata Maastrichtian
C. maroccana Maastrichtian
Delpitoscyllium D. africanum Selandian
Eostegostoma E. sp. Selandian A carpet shark.
Foumtizia F. abdouni Selandian
G. mesetaensis Selandian
Ginglymostoma G. chenanei Selandian
G. khouribgaense Selandian
Hologinglymostoma H. jaegeri Selandian
Khouribgaleus K. gomphorhiza Selandian
Metlaouia M. delpiti Selandian
Microscyliorhinus M. simplex Selandian
Palaeogaleus P. larachei Selandian
Palaeorhincodon P. daouii Selandian A carpet shark.
Porodermoides P. spanios Selandian
Premontreia P. peypouqueti Selandian
P. subulidens Selandian
Scyliorhinus S. ptychtus Selandian
S. entomodon Selandian
S. sulcidens Selandian
Serratolamna S. serrata Maastrichtian
Serratolamna teeth
S. khderii Maastrichtian
Squalicorax S. pristodontus Maastrichtian
S. bassanii Maastrichtian
S. africanus Maastrichtian
S. microserratus Maastrichtian
S. benguerirensis Maastrichtian
Triakis T. antunesi Selandian

Other Cartilaginous Fish

Other Cartilaginous Fish from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Archaemanta A. priemi Selandian A
Burnhamia B. cf. davisi Selandian A devil ray
Coupatezia C. larivei Selandian A ray.
C. fallax Maastrichtian
C. elevata Maastrichtian
Dasyatis D. ponsi Selandian A stingray. An indeterminate species found in Maastrichtian deposits of Ganntour Basin.
Delpitia D. reticulata Selandian A ray.
G. delpiti Selandian A ray.
Heterobatis H. talbaouii Selandian A ray.
Heterotorpedo H. brahimi Selandian A ray.
Hypolophodon H. sp. Selandian A ray.
Rhombodus R. binkhorsti Maastrichtian A ray.
Rhombodus spines
R. microdus Maastrichtian
R. meridionalis Maastrichtian
Schizorhiza S. stromeri Maastrichtian A sclerorhynchoid skate which resembled a sawfish.


Crocodylomorphs from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Arambourgisuchus[11] A. khouribgaensis Thanetian A dyrosaurid.
Atlantosuchus A. coupatezi Danian A dyrosaurid.
Chenanisuchus C. lateroculi Thanetian The most basal known dyrosaurid.
Dyrosaurus P. maghribensis Ypresian A dyrosaur.
Maroccosuchus[12] M. zennaroi Ypresian A
Ocepesuchus[13] O. eoafricanus Maastrichtian A


Lepidosaurs from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Mosasaurus M. beaugei Maastrichtian A large mosasaurine mosasaur.
Eremiasaurus E. heterodontus Maastrichtian A mosasaurine mosasaur with unusual cutting dentition.
Halisaurus H. arambourgi Maastrichtian A halisaurine mosasaur.
Globidens G. phosphaticus Maastrichtian A mosasaurine mosasaur with specialized crushing teeth.
G. simplex Maastrichtian
G. aegyptiacus Maastrichtian Now referred to its own genus, Igdamanosaurus.
Igdamanosaurus I. aegyptiacus Maastrichtian
Carinodens C. minalmamar Maastrichtian A small mosasaurine mosasaur with crushing teeth.
Platecarpus P. ptychodon Maastrichtian A nomen dubium. Now referred to its own genus, Gavialimimus.
Gavialimimus[14] G. almaghribensis Maastrichtian An unusual longirostrine plioplatecarpine mosasaur.
Prognathodon P. currii Maastrichtian A large mosasaurine mosasaur.
P. giganteus Maastrichtian
Thalassotitan[15] T. atrox Maastrichtian A large-bodied mosasaurine with powerful jaws, similar to P. currii.
Stelladens[16] S. mysteriosus Maastrichtian A medium-sized mosasaurine with distinct, unique teeth structure.
Pluridens[17] P. serpentis Maastrichtian A large halisaurine mosasaur, also known from Niger and Nigeria.
Xenodens[18] X. calminechari Maastrichtian A small mosasaurine mosasaur with unusual, shark-like teeth.
Pachyvaranus P. crassispondylus Maastrichtian A pachyvaranid
Palaeophis[19] P. maghrebianus Maastrichtian?–Ypresian A palaeophiid marine snake.


Plesiosaurs from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Zarafasaura Z. oceanis Maastrichtian An elasmosaurid plesiosaur with an unusually short skull.


Turtles from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Alienochelys[20] A. selloumi Maastrichtian A sea turtle with crushing jaws.
Araiochelys[21] A. hirayamai
A. africana Ypresian A pancheloniid sea turtle.
Bothremys[21] B. kellyi Danian-Thanetian
B. maghrebiana
Brachyopsemys B. tingitana Danian A
sea turtle
Euclastes E. acutirostris Danian-Thanetian A pancheloniid sea turtle. An indeterminate species also present in the Maastrichtian deposits of Ganntour Basin.[23]
E. wielandi Danian
Labrostochelys[21] L. galkini Danian
Ocepechelon[24] O. bouyai Maastrichtian A giant protostegid sea turtle with an unusual pipette-like snout.
Puppigerus P. camperi Ypresian
Rhothonemys[21] R. brinkmani Danian
Tasbacka T. ouledabdounensis Danian
Taphrosphys T. ippolitoi Danian
Ummulisani U. rutgersensis Ypresian


Pterosaurs from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Alcione[25] A. elainus Maastrichtian A nyctosaurid which shows possible adaptations towards diving behaviour.
Barbaridactylus B. grandis Maastrichtian A nyctosaurid.
Simurghia S. robusta Maastrichtian A nyctosaurid related to Alcione.
Phosphatodraco P. mauritanicus Maastrichtian An azhdarchid.
cf Arambourgiania A. sp? Maastrichtian A giant azhdarchid, may belong to the Jordanian taxon Arambourgiania.
Azhdarchidae Indet. Maastrichtian A new taxon, currently unnamed.
Tethydraco T. regalis Maastrichtian A pterosaur of debated affinity; may be an azhdarchid or a pteranodontid.


Bird fossils are common in the Basin, which includes the oldest birds in Africa.

Fregatidae and Pelagornithidae), and Anseriformes (waterfowl, including fossil Presbyornithidae).[4]

Dinosaurs from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Abelisauridae[26] Indeterminate Sidi Daoui Maastrichtian right metatarsal II A mature specimen but very small for an abelisaurid, about 2.6 m (8.5 ft) long
Abelisauridae[26] Indeterminate Sidi Chennane Maastrichtian right tibia Probably distinct from Chenanisaurus due to its smaller size (about 5 m (16 ft) long) despite being mature. Similar to South American abelisaurids.
Ajnabia[27] A. odysseus Office Cherifien des Phosphates mines at Sidi Chennane Maastrichtian
  • partial left maxilla with teeth
  • fragments of right maxilla
  • partial right dentary
A small
; the first known from Africa.
Chenanisaurus[28] C. barbaricus
  • Sidi Chennane
  • Sidi Daoui
  • anterior end of left dentary
  • 2 premaxillary teeth
  • a maxillary tooth
A large
Titanosauria Indeterminate Maastrichtian A new taxon, currently unnamed.
Dasornis D. tolapica Selandian A pelagornithid, or pseudotooth bird.
D. emuinus Ypresian
Lithoptila[29] L. abdounensis Thanetian A


Mammals from the Khouribga Phosphates
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Abdounodus[30] A. hamdii Thanetian-Ypresian
Daouitherium[31] D. rebouli Ypresian An early proboscidean.
Eritherium[32] E. azzouzorum Thanetian An early proboscidean.
Hadrogeneios[33] H. phosphaticus Selandian-Thanetian
Ocepeia[30] O. daouiensis Selandian

O. grandis Thanetian
Phosphatherium P. escuilliei Selandian An early proboscidean.
Boualitomus B. marocanensis Selandian A hyaenodont.
Lahimia[34] L. selloumi Selandian A hyaenodont.
Stylolophus[35] S. minor Ypresian An embrithopod.
S. major Ypresian


Mollusca from the Khouribga Phosphates[36]
Genus Species Location Time Material Notes Images
Cucullaea (Idonearca) C. (I.) thevestensis A
false ark shell
Heligmopsis H. wegmanianus Maastrichtian A feather oyster also present in Ganntour basin.
Venericardia V. coquandi Danian A carditid clam also present in Ganntour basin.
Baculites B. sp. Maastrichtian A straight-shelled
, also present in Ganntour basin.
Cimomia C. aff. sudanensis Ypresian A nautiloid also present in Ganntour basin.
Ampullinopsis A. crassatina An ampullinid gastropod.
Hemithersitea H. chouberti Lutetian A thersiteid gastropod.

See also


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  10. ^ Noubhani, A.; Cappetta, H. (1997). "Les Orectolobiformes, Carcharhiniformes et Myliobatiformes (Elasmobranchii, Neoselachii) des bassins à phosphate du Maroc (Maastrichtien-Lutétien basal). Systématique, biostratigraphie, évolution et dynamique des faunes". Palaeo Ichthyologica.
  11. ^ Jouve, S.; Iarochène, M.; Bouya, B.; Amaghzaz, M. (2005). "A new dyrosaurid crocodyliform from the Palaeocene of Morocco and a phylogenetic analysis of Dyrosauridae". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 50 (3): 581–594.
  12. ^ Jonet, S.; Wouters, G. (1977). "Maroccosuchus zennaroi, crocodilien eusuchien nouveau des phosphates du Maroc". Notes et Mémoires du Service Géologique du Maroc. 38: 177–202.
  13. S2CID 86503283
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  30. ^ .
  31. ^ Gheerbrant, E.; Sudre, J.; Cappetta, H.; Iarochène, M.; Amaghzaz, M.; Bouya, B. (2002). "A new large mammal from the Ypresian of Morocco: Evidence of surprising diversity of early proboscideans" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 47 (3): 493–506.
  32. PMID 19549873
  33. .
  34. .
  35. ^ Emmanuel Gheerbrant; Arnaud Schmitt; László Kocsis (2018). "Early African fossils elucidate the origin of embrithopod mammals". Current Biology. Online edition. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.032.
  36. .

External links