1.23" Fossil Pterosaur Tooth in Situ - Dekkar Formation, Morocco

This is a 1.23" long, fossil Pterosaur (Siroccopteryx) tooth from the Dekkar Formation near Talsint, Morocco. The tooth has several repaired cracks and tip damage, but is quite large for these pterosaur teeth. this particular tooth is prepped partially free from the rock it was found in.

In the past year these distinctive dark brown fossil dinosaur and reptile teeth have begun to appear on the market in limited quantities. They are found in Anoual Region of Morocco near Talsint. These teeth have almost always been incorrectly identified as being Jurassic in age and are sometimes assigned wildly inaccurate identifications based on the incorrect age.

These fossil teeth are coming out of the Late Cretaceous Dekkar Formation. This formation is considered an equivalent to the Kem Kem Beds several hundred miles South and the species appear to be the same or at least very similar. Part of the confusion is that very limited geological mapping had been done in this region of Morocco until recently. Most of the mapped formations were Jurassic, so people just made assumptions.

They are very interesting teeth with different preservation than the Kem Kem Beds. The rock holds together better allowing many to be prepped in the matrix, something rarely seen with Kem Kem teeth.

Siroccopteryx moroccensis is a Late Cretaceous pterosaur whose fossil are found in Morocco. It would have been one of the largest pterosaurs with a wingspan of around 12-15 feet (4-5 meters). It is likely that this animal was a specialized glider, and ventured into the sea off the coast of Africa, to capture fishes and other prey that swim near the surface.

The exact genus and taxonomy of this pterosaur is still up for debate. Some researchers consider it a member of the Coloborhynchus genus, some consider Siroccopteryx a seperate genus and yet others have proposed it is closer to the Anhanguera genus. Siroccopteryx appears to be the genus name more widely in use.

Artists reconstruction of a species of Siroccopteryx.
Artists reconstruction of a species of Siroccopteryx.

Siroccopteryx had a unique dental pattern. The front two teeth were flattened and stuck straight out the front of the jaw. The next three sets of teeth were curved and stuck out to the side of the jaw. The last two pairs of teeth stuck straight out of the jaw. This arrangement was probably to help the Pterosaur to catch the fish it fed on.
Siroccopteryx (Coloborhynchus) moroccensis
Near Talsint, Anoual Region, Morocco
Dekkar Formation
Tooth 1.23" long, Rock 1.3 x 1.1"
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