Geological Magazine

Original Article

An Early Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage from the Cabao Formation of NW Libya

JEAN LE LOEUFFa1 c1, EDDY MÉTAISa2, DIDIER B. DUTHEILa3, JEAN LOUP RUBINOa4, ERIC BUFFETAUTa5, FRANÇOIS LAFONTa4, LIONEL CAVINa6, FABRICE MOREAUa7, HAIYAN TONGa8, CHRISTIAN BLANPIEDa2 and ALI SBETAa9

a1 Musée des dinosaures, 11260 Espéraza, France

a2 Total, Tour Coupole, Paris la Défense, France

a3 15, passage du Buisson Saint-Louis, 75010 Paris, France

a4 Total, CSTJF, Avenue Larribau, 64018 Pau Cedex, France

a5 CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France

a6 Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, 1 route de Malagnou, 1208 Genève, Switzerland

a7 Domaine de la Grange, 37110 Les Hermites, France

a8 30 rue Carnot, 94270 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France

a9 Geology Department, University of El Fateh, Tripoli, Libya

Abstract

Fossil vertebrates from the Cabao Formation discovered in the area of Nalut in northwestern Libya include the hybodont shark Priohybodus, the crocodilian Sarcosuchus, an abelisaurid, a baryonichine spinosaurid and a large sauropod with spatulate teeth. The Cabao Formation may be Hauterivian to Barremian in age, although an earlier Berriasian to Valanginian age cannot be excluded. Its dinosaur assemblage is reminiscent of that of the El Rhaz and Tiouraren formations of Niger and strongly differs from both the Cenomanian assemblages of Morocco and Egypt and the Late Aptian to Albian fauna of Tunisia. Fossil vertebrates may be an important tool to establish the stratigraphical framework of the poorly dated Early Cretaceous continental deposits of Africa.

(Received November 21 2009)

(Accepted January 18 2010)

(Online publication March 10 2010)

Keywords:

  • Early Cretaceous;
  • Libya;
  • dinosaurs;
  • biostratigraphy

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: jeanleloeuff@yahoo.fr

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