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 few years, 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 Jurassic in age and are sometimes assigned wildly inaccurate identifications based on this 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 has been done in this region of Morocco until recently. Most of the mapped formations were Jurassic, so people assume dDekkar was the same.

The teeth out of Dekkar have some different and interesting preservation compared to the Kem Kem Beds. The rock holds together better, allowing many teeth to be prepped in the matrix, something rarely seen with Kem Kem teeth.

Siroccopteryx moroccensis is a Late Cretaceous pterosaur whose fossils are found in Morocco. It would have been one of the largest pterosaurs with a wingspan of around 12-15 feet (4-5 meters). This animal was likely a specialized glider, and ventured into the sea off the coast of Africa to capture fishes and other prey that swam 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 separate genus, and others have proposed that it is closer to the Anhanguera genus. Siroccopteryx appears to be the most widely used genus name.

Artist's reconstruction of a species of Siroccopteryx.
Artist's reconstruction of a species of Siroccopteryx.

Siroccopteryx had a unique dental pattern. The front two teeth were flattened and stuck straight out of 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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