Biological modification of bones in the Cretaceous of North Africa

Christina Shears Ozeki, David M. Martill, Roy E. Smith, Nizar Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bones displaying evidence of modification by macro, meso and microorganisms occur frequently in the ?Albian - early Cenomanian Cretaceous Kem Kem Group of the Tafilalt in southeast Morocco. Excluding the traces made by vertebrates (bite marks, tooth punctures, scratch marks, trample fractures) the different types of modification identified include a variety of borings referable to the ichnogenera Cubiculum, Cuniculichnus, Osteichnus and Osteocallis. Although the identity of the borers cannot always be confirmed several are attributed to dermestid beetles, possibly mayflies of the family Polymitarcidae, and perhaps to the activity of plant roots or fungal hyphae. Microbial damage to Kem Kem Group bones appears to be minimal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104529
JournalCretaceous Research
Early online date5 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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