The pterosaurs of the Cretaceous Kem Kem Group of Morocco

Roy E. Smith, Nizar Ibrahim, Nicholas Longrich, David M. Unwin, Megan L. Jacobs, Cariad J. Williams, Samir Zouhri, David M. Martill

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Abstract

The pterosaur assemblage of the mid-Cretaceous Kem Kem Group of Morocco is reviewed. This analysis examines their taxonomy, palaeoecology and palaeobiology with comments on taphonomy. New material permits the rediagnosis of the azhdarchoids Alanqa saharica and Afrotapejara zouhrii. Several specimens are reported that do not fit within the paradigms of previously named taxa. They represent three distinct jaw morphotypes, but are not assigned to new taxa here. The assemblage is highly diverse, including four tooth-bearing taxa assigned to Ornithocheiridae and five named taxa and three additional morphotypes assigned to Azhdarchoidea. The Kem Kem Group assemblage is the most diverse for any pterosaur-bearing fluvial deposit and one of the most diverse of any pterosaur assemblage. The assemblage is heavily biased in terms of preservation with an as yet unexplained high abundance of jaw fragments. We highlight the importance of fragmentary material in pterosaur studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPaläontologische Zeitschrift
Early online date4 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 4 Feb 2023

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