Geological Magazine

Original Article

Late Cretaceous (Campanian—Maastrichtian) marine reptiles from the Adaffa Formation, NW Saudi Arabia

B. P. KEARa1a2 c1, T. H. RICHa3, M. A. ALIa4, Y. A. AL-MUFARRIHa4, A. H. MATIRIa4, A. M. MASARYa4 and Y. ATTIAa4

a1 Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, 3086, Australia

a2 Earth Sciences Section–Palaeontology, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000, Australia

a3 Palaeontology Department, Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia

a4 Saudi Geological Survey, P.O. Box 54141, Jiddah, 21514, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Marine reptile remains occur in the Upper Cretaceous (lower Campanian to lower Maastrichtian) Adaffa Formation of NW Saudi Arabia. This is the first detailed report of late Mesozoic marine reptiles from the Arabian Peninsula. The fossils include bothremydid (cf. Taphrosphyini) turtles, dyrosaurid crocodyliforms, elasmosaurid plesiosaurs, mosasaurs (Prognathodon, plioplatecarpines) and an indeterminate small varanoid. The assemblage is compositionally similar to contemporary faunas from elsewhere in the Middle East/North Africa, and comprises taxa that are typical of the southern margin of the Mediterranean Tethys.

(Received September 05 2007)

(Accepted March 26 2008)

(Online publication June 11 2008)


  • marine reptiles;
  • Late Cretaceous;
  • Arabian Peninsula;
  • Tethys;
  • palaeobiogeography


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