Nowadays, the search for fossils has become very difficult by the closure of many sites to the public, I present to you here the most 4 famous fossiliferous sites still opened for the "fossils hunters" in Morocco.
Alnif is a rural commune in the province of Tinghir, in the Drâa-Tafilalet region, in Morocco. it is located inside an oasis between Ouarzazate and Errachidia.
It is one of the places with the highest concentration of fossil deposits in Morocco. Among them, we can note the Trilobites which are more than 500 million years old.
3- Ahl al Oughlam
Ahl al Oughlam is a paleontological site located near Casablanca, Morocco. Discovered in 1985 by Jean-Paul Reynal and Jean-Pierre Texier, it was excavated for the first time in 1989 by Denis Geraads.
Paleontology is the scientific discipline that studies the processes of fossilization (taphonomy) of extinct living beings or the correlation and dating of the rocks that contain them (biostratigraphy).
Ahl al Oughlam is to date the richest Plio-Pleistocene site in North Africa. Excavations have unearthed the largest number of carnivorous mammals in North Africa with 23 different species, 13 of which are new.
The Pleistocene is a period that extends from 2.58 million years to 11,700 years before the present, it is considered the first geological period of the Quaternary and the penultimate on the scale of geological times. It is preceded by the Pliocene and followed by the Holocene.
The fossil remains are kept at INSAP in Rabat.
2- Kem Kem
The Kem Kem are a vast semi-desert tabular rocky plateau (or hamada) and a paleontological site located on the Moroccan-Algerian border. It is only clearly delineated from a geological point of view.
According to the Canadian paleontologist Dale Russell (1996), the proportion of carnivorous dinosaurs would have been relatively high in the Kem Kem, in particular fishing spinosaurs; the scarcity of vegetation would not have allowed herbivorous dinosaurs to survive in number.
Fossils of pterosaurs, flying reptiles 100 million years old, are preserved in the Kem Kem beds: paleontologists have thus found remains of Siroccopteryx moroccensis and Coloborhynchus fluviferox (two genera of Ornithocheiridae), Xericeps curvirostris , Alanqa saharica, Apatorhamphus gyrostega (a possible chaoyanyopterid) and an unnamed Tapejarid
1- Ouled Abdoun
The Ouled Abdoun basin (or Khouribga basin) is a phosphate deposit located in Morocco near the town of Khouribga in the Chaouia-Ouardigha region, the largest in Morocco with reserves of 37.3 billion m³. It is also a paleontological site which has delivered many fossils of marine animals, but also of mammals.
The sedimentary cover of the basin results from the deposits of an invasion of the area by the sea which began in the middle Cretaceous.
The mammal fossils were discovered late, in 1996. They are located in the northeast of the basin in the Grand Daoui quarry, more precisely in "bone-beds" of phosphate limestone dated to the Ypresian. basal. Most of these mammalian remains are of basal Eocene age.
Among the most important discoveries is a fossil mammal about 60 million years old, which would be the oldest "ancestor" of the elephant, Eritherium azzouzorum. Previously, the remains of Phosphatherium escuilliei, the oldest representative of elephants (55 million years) before Eritherium, had been recovered from this same basin.
Seven species of mammals, most of them new, have been discovered:
- Creodonta, Hyaenodontidae
- Condylarthra, Mioclaenidae
- Condylarthra, Phenacodonta, Ocepeia daouiensis
- Condylarthra or Ungulata,
- Hyracoidea incertae sedis,Seggeurius
- Proboscidea, Barytherioidea incertae sedis, Phosphatherium escuilliei
- Proboscidea, Barytherioidea, Numidotheriidae, Daouitherium rebouli