Rare, 13.4" Sauropod Metacarpal - Marine Deposits, Morocco

 
 
 
 
This is an extremely unusual find that had us baffled for a while. It was part of a lot of marine, vertebrate material we purchased from the phosphate mines near Khouribga, Morocco. Phosphate is one of Morocco's biggest exports and huge numbers of marine vertebrate fossils (Mosasaur, Plesiosaur, etc) are saved from the rock-crushers by locals and sold as a by-product of the mining operations.

Despite coming from marine deposits, these bones did not match any marine reptiles and were incorrectly labeled when they arrived. It appears to be a dinosaur metacarpal (toe bone), most likely of a Sauropod. Recently we came across the following article documenting, The first record of a sauropod dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous phosphates of Morocco. Bingo.

Suffice to say, this is an very rare find. I have not heard of any other dinosaur material recovered from these deposits other than what is referenced in the article.

The bone is 15.2" long and in pretty good condition. There are a number of repaired cracks with some gap fill restoration in the cracks to stabilize the piece. One side of one end has been damaged and is missing but otherwise it has almost no surface erosion.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Unidentified Sauropod
LOCATION
Oulad Abdoun Basin, Khouribga, Morocco
FORMATION
Phosphate Deposits
SIZE
13.4" long & 15.2"
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#90700
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