Departmental Papers (EES)

From dinosaurs to dyrosaurids (Crocodyliformes): Removal of the post-Cenomanian (Late Cretaceous) record of Ornithischia from Africa

Matthew C. Lamanna, University of Pennsylvania
Joshua B. Smith, University of Pennsylvania
Yousry S. Attia, Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority
Peter Dodson, University of Pennsylvania

Document Type Journal Article

Copyright The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Use for profit not allowed. Reprinted from: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Volume 24, Issue 3, 2004, pages 764-768.
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Ornithischian dinosaurs are uncommon elements in Late Cretaceous faunal assemblages of many Gondwanan landmasses, particularly Africa. The best-documented post-Cenomanian record of purported ornithischian body fossils from Africa consists of a left humerus, with associated cranial and costal fragments, from the Santonian-Campanian Quseir Formation of Kharga Oasis, Egypt (Fig. 1 ) (Awad and Ghobrial, 1966). We show that this specimen pertains instead to a dyrosaurid crocodyliform, and restrict known African ornithischian body fossils to pre-Turonian sediments. The apparent absence of this dinosaur clade from the post-Cenomanian Late Cretaceous of Africa is probably a consequence of limited sampling; nevertheless, a comparable ornithischian absence from coeval sediments in Madagascar and possibly Indo-Pakistan constitutes a notable faunal similarity among these landmasses.


Date Posted: 19 December 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.