Bahariya Formation

The Bahariya Formation (also transcribed as Baharija Formation) is a fossiliferous geologic formation dating back to the Early Cenomanian, which outcrops within the Bahariya depression in Egypt, and is known from oil exploration drilling across much of the Western Desert where it forms an important oil reservoir.[1][3][4]

Bahariya Formation
Stratigraphic range: Early Cenomanian[1]
~100–95 Ma
Spinosaurus with contemporaneous taxa
Restoration of some animals found
TypeGeological formation
UnderliesEl Heiz Fm., El Naqb Fm.[2]
OverliesBasement
Thickness≈100 m (330 ft)[2]
Lithology
PrimarySandstone
OtherMudstone, siltstone
Location
CoordinatesCoordinates: 28°24′20″N 28°48′20″E / 28.40556°N 28.80556°E
RegionWestern Desert
Country Egypt
Type section
Named forBahariya Oasis
Named bySaid 1962
Bahariya Formation is located in Egypt
Bahariya Formation
Bahariya Formation (Egypt)

Extent

The Bahariya Formation forms the base of the depression, the lower part of the enclosing escarpment and all of the small hills within.[5] The type section for the formation is found at Gebel El-Dist, a hill at the northern end of the Bahariya depression.[6]

Stratigraphy and sedimentology

Four depositional sequences have been recognised in the Bahariya Formation in the Bahariya depression, separated by three sub-aerial unconformities. The formation was deposited during a period of relative rise in sea level, with each unconformity representing a relative fall in sea level.[1] Each of the individual sequences contains sediments deposited under fluvial, shoreline and shallow marine conditions.

Flora

Thirty different genera are known from Bahariya, including megaflora. Much of the material is yet to be described.[7]

Other taxa include Sapindales, Piperaceae, Lauraceae, Platanaceae, Magnoliopsida, Nymphaeaceae, Cornaceae, Proteaceae and Vitaceae not identified at genus level; and miospore and pollen species.

Microfauna and Meiofauna

Foraminifera

Foraminifera of the Bahariya Formation
Genus Species
Charentia C. cuvillieri
Flavusella F. washitensis
Mayncina M. orbignyi
Rotalipora R. cushmani
R. reicheli
Thomasinella T. aegyptia
T. fragmentaria
T. punica
Whiteinella W. archaeocretacea

Other microorganisms

Invertebrates

Molluscs

Crustaceans

Crustaceans of the Bahariya Formation
Genus Species Notes Images
Amphicytherura A. sexta
Anticythereis A. gaensis
Bairdia B. bassiounii
B. elongata
Brachycythere B. ledaforma porosa
Bythoceratina B. avnonensis
B. tamarae
Bythocypris B. eskeri
Cythereis C. algeriana
C. bicornis levis
C. canteriolata
Cytherella C. ovata
C. paenovata
C. parallela
C. sulcata
Fabanella
Looneyella L. sohni
Loxoconcha L. clinocosta
L. fletcheri
Metacytheropteron M. berbericum
Ovocytheridea O. caudata
O. producta
O. reniformis
Paracypris P. acutocaudata
P. angusta
P. mdaouerensis
P. triangularis
Pterigocythere P. raabi
Veeniacythereis V. jezzineensis
Xestoleberis X. obesa

Insects

Direct fossils are sparse, though plant leaves with extensive damage from folivorous insects have been documented.

Vertebrates

Cartilaginous fish

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Gymnura aaustralis csiro-nfc
Modern Gymnura.
Rhinoptera steindachneri
Modern Rhinoptera.
Squatina australis
Modern Squatina.

Bony fish

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Testudines

Testudines of the Bahariya Formation
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Apertotemporalis A. baharijensis A small sea turtle. Other unnamed species are also present.

Squamates

Squamates of the Bahariya Formation
Genus Species Abundance Notes Images
Simoliophys Abundant First known sea snake, with functional hind legs. Now believed to include elements from different species and at least one of a different, unnamed genus.

Plesiosaurs

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Crocodyliformes

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Sauropods

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Theropods

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

In addition, there are isolated teeth disputedly assigned to dromaeosaurids, or to abelisaurids.

See also

Sources

References

  1. ^ a b c Catuneanu O., Khalifa M.A. & Wanas H.A. (2006). "Sequence stratigraphy of the Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt" (PDF). Sedimentary Geology. 190 (1–4): 121–137. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2006.05.010.
  2. ^ a b Catuneany et al., 2006, p.122
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Weishampel, David B; et al (2004). "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous, Africa)." In: Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 604. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  4. ^ Macgregor D.S. & Moody R.T.G. (1998). "Mesozoic and Cenozoic petroleum systems of North Africa". In Macgregor D.S., Moody R.T.G. & Clark-Lowes D.D. (eds.). Petroleum geology of North Africa. Special Publications. 132. Geological Society. pp. 201–216. ISBN 9781862390041.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
  5. ^ Khalifa M.A. & Catuneanu O. (2008). "Sedimentology of the fluvial and fluvio-marine facies of the Bahariya Formation (Early Cenomanian), Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt". Journal of African Earth Sciences. 51 (2): 89–103. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2007.12.004.
  6. ^ Tanner L.H. & Khalifa M.A. (2010). "Origin of ferricretes in fluvial-marine deposits of the Lower Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt". Journal of African Earth Sciences. 56 (4–5): 179–189. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2009.07.004.
  7. ^ Ijouhier, Jamale (2016) A reconstruction of the palaeoecology and environmental dynamics of the Bahariya Formation of Egypt. PeerJ Preprints, https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2470v1
  8. ^ "Table 13.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 267.
  9. ^ "Table 13.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 269.
1931 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1931.

1934 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 1934.

Aegyptosaurus

Aegyptosaurus meaning 'Egypt’s lizard', for the country in which it was discovered (Greek sauros meaning 'lizard') is a genus of sauropod dinosaur believed to have lived in what is now Africa, around 95 million years ago, during the mid- and late-Cretaceous Period (Albian to Cenomanian stages). Like most sauropods, it had a long neck and a small skull. The animal's long tail probably acted as a counterweight to its body mass. Aegyptosaurus was a close relative of Argentinosaurus, a much larger dinosaur found in South America.

Aegyptosaurus was described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1932. Its fossils have been found in Egypt, Niger (Farak Formation), and in several different locations in the Sahara Desert. All known examples were discovered before 1939. The fossils were stored together in Munich, but were obliterated when an Allied bombing raid destroyed the museum where they were kept in 1944, during World War II.

Aegyptosuchus

Aegyptosuchus ("Egyptian crocodile") is an extinct genus of aegyptosuchid eusuchian crocodyliform. This taxon was coined by Kuhn (1936) as a monotypic family-level taxon redundant with the Cretaceous genus Aegyptosuchus. Carroll (1988) classified the genus in the family Stomatosuchidae. Only one species is descript, Aegyptosuchus peyeri.

Bahariasaurus

Bahariasaurus (meaning "Bahariya lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur found in the Bahariya Formation in El-Waha el-Bahariya or Bahariya (Arabic: الواحة البحرية meaning the "northern oasis") oasis in Egypt, the Farak Formation of Niger, and Kem Kem Beds of North Africa, which date to the late Cretaceous Period, (Cenomanian age), about 95 million years ago. It was a huge theropod, in the same size range as Tyrannosaurus and the contemporary genus Carcharodontosaurus.The type species, B. ingens, was described by Ernst Stromer in 1934, though the type specimen was destroyed during World War II. The exact placement of Bahariasaurus is uncertain, although it has been variously assigned to several theropod groups, including Carcharodontosauridae (by Rauhut in 1995) and Tyrannosauroidea (by Chure in 2000). It is potentially synonymous with Deltadromeus, another theropod from the early Late Cretaceous of North Africa, this would possibly make it the largest ceratosaur. More specimens would be needed to more accurately classify it, and to determine its relationship to Deltadromeus.In 2016 the description and analysis of Aoniraptor, Bahariasaurus was found along with Aoniraptor and Deltadromeus to probably form a still poorly known clade of megaraptoran tyrannosauroids different from the Megaraptoridae.

Bahariya Oasis

El-Wahat el-Bahariya or el-Bahariya (Arabic: الواحات البحرية‎ al-Wāḥāt al-Baḥrīya, "the Seaside Oases"; Coptic: ϯⲟⲩⲁϩ `ⲙⲡⲉⲙϫⲉ Diwah Ēmbemdje, "Oasis of Bemdje") is a depression and oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt. It is approximately 370 km away from Cairo. The roughly oval valley extends from northeast to southwest, has a length of 94 km, a maximum width of 42 km and covers an area of about 2000 km².

The valley is surrounded by mountains and has numerous springs. Located in Giza Governorate, the main economic sectors are agriculture, iron ore mining, and tourism. The main agricultural products are guavas, mangos, dates, and olives.

Bawitius

Bawitius is an extinct genus of giant polypterid from the Upper Cretaceous (lower Cenomanian) Bahariya Formation of Egypt. The genus etymology comes from Bawiti, the principal settlement of the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt. It is known from several ectopterygoid bones and some sparse scales.

Carcharodontosaurus

Carcharodontosaurus is a genus of carnivorous carcharodontosaurid dinosaurs that existed during the Cenomanian stage of the mid-Cretaceous Period. It is currently known to include two species: C. saharicus and C. iguidensis, which were among the larger theropods, nearly as large as or even larger than Tyrannosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Spinosaurus.

The genus Carcharodontosaurus is named after the shark genus Carcharodon, itself composed of the Greek karchar[os] (κάρχαρος, meaning "jagged" or "sharp") and odōn (ὀδών, "teeth"), and the suffix -saurus ("lizard").

Cenomanian

The Cenomanian is, in the ICS' geological timescale the oldest or earliest age of the Late Cretaceous epoch or the lowest stage of the Upper Cretaceous series. An age is a unit of geochronology: it is a unit of time; the stage is a unit in the stratigraphic column deposited during the corresponding age. Both age and stage bear the same name.

As a unit of geologic time measure, the Cenomanian age spans the time between 100.5 ± 0.9 Ma and 93.9 ± 0.8 Ma (million years ago). In the geologic timescale it is preceded by the Albian and is followed by the Turonian. The Upper Cenomanian starts approximately at 95 M.a.

The Cenomanian is coeval with the Woodbinian of the regional timescale of the Gulf of Mexico and the early part of the Eaglefordian of the regional timescale of the East Coast of the United States.

At the end of the Cenomanian an anoxic event took place, called the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event or the "Bonarelli Event", that is associated with a minor extinction event for marine species.

Fossils of Egypt

Egypt has many fossil-bearing geologic formations, in which many dinosaurs have been discovered.

Libycosuchus

Libycosuchus is an extinct genus of North African crocodylomorph possibly related to Notosuchus. It was terrestrial, living approximately 95 million years ago in the Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous. Fossil remains have been found in the Bahariya Formation in Egypt, making it contemporaneous with the crocodilian Stomatosuchus, and dinosaurs, including Spinosaurus. It was one of the few fossils discovered by Ernst Stromer that wasn't destroyed by the Royal Air Force during the bombing of Munich in 1944.

List of lost, damaged, or destroyed dinosaur specimens

This list of lost, damaged, or destroyed dinosaur specimens enumerates those fossil dinosaur specimens that have been discovered only to be lost or damaged after initial documentation. Some of these specimens which had gone missing were later recovered as well.

Oxalaia

Oxalaia (in reference to the African deity Oxalá) is a genus of spinosaurid theropod dinosaur that lived in what is now the Northeast Region of Brazil during the Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous Period, sometime between 100.5 and 93.9 million years ago. Its only known fossils were found in 1999 on Cajual Island in the rocks of the Alcântara Formation, which is known for its abundance of fragmentary, isolated fossil specimens. The remains of Oxalaia were described in 2011 by Brazilian palaeontologist Alexander Kellner and colleagues, who assigned the specimens to a new genus containing one species, Oxalaia quilombensis. The species name refers to the Brazilian quilombo settlements. Oxalaia quilombensis is the eighth officially named theropod species from Brazil and the largest carnivorous dinosaur discovered there. It is closely related to the African genus Spinosaurus.

Although Oxalaia is known only from two partial skull bones, Kellner and colleagues found that its teeth and cranium had a few distinct features not seen in other spinosaurids or theropods, including two replacement teeth in each socket and a very sculptured secondary palate. Oxalaia's habitat was tropical, heavily forested, and surrounded by an arid landscape. This environment had a large variety of lifeforms also present in Middle-Cretaceous North Africa, due to the connection of South America and Africa as parts of the supercontinent Gondwana. As a spinosaurid, the traits of Oxalaia's skull and dentition indicate a partly piscivorous (fish-eating) lifestyle similar to that of modern crocodilians. Fossil evidence suggests spinosaurids also preyed on other animals such as small dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

Paralititan

Paralititan (meaning "tidal giant") was a giant titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur genus discovered in coastal deposits in the Upper Cretaceous Bahariya Formation of Egypt. It lived between 99.6 and 93.5 million years ago.

Paranogmius

Paranogmius is an extinct genus of prehistoric bony fish that lived during the Cenomanian. It is known from a single vertebra discovered in the Bahariya Formation. The bone was destroyed during World War II and since then, no more fossils have been discovered.

Paranogmius doederleini may have been the same animal as Concavotectum.

Spinosaurus

Spinosaurus (meaning "spine lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa, during the upper Albian to upper Turonian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 93.5 million years ago. This genus was known first from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. The original remains were destroyed in World War II, but additional material has come to light in the early 21st century. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the fossils reported in the scientific literature. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species, S. maroccanus, has been recovered from Morocco.

Spinosaurus was among the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, nearly as large as or even larger than Tyrannosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. Estimates published in 2005, 2007, and 2008 suggested that it was between 12.6–18 metres (41–59 ft) in length and 7 to 20.9 tonnes (7.7 to 23.0 short tons) in weight. New estimates published in 2014 and 2018 based on a more complete specimen, supported the earlier research, finding that Spinosaurus could reach lengths of 15–16 m (49–52 ft). The latest estimates suggest a weight of 6.4–7.5 tonnes (7.1–8.3 short tons). The skull of Spinosaurus was long and narrow, similar to that of a modern crocodilian. Spinosaurus is known to have eaten fish, and most scientists believe that it hunted both terrestrial and aquatic prey; evidence suggests that it lived both on land and in water as a modern crocodilian does. The distinctive spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae, grew to at least 1.65 meters (5.4 ft) long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. Multiple functions have been put forward for this structure, including thermoregulation and display.

Stomatosuchidae

Stomatosuchidae is an extinct family of neosuchian crocodylomorphs. It is defined as the most inclusive clade containing Stomatosuchus inermis but not Notosuchus terrestris, Simosuchus clarki, Araripesuchus gomesii, Baurusuchus pachecoi, Peirosaurus torminni, or Crocodylus niloticus. Two genera are known to belong to Stomatosuchidae: Stomatosuchus, the type genus, and Laganosuchus. Fossils have been found from Egypt, Morocco, and Niger. Both lived during the Cenomanian stage of the Late Cretaceous. The skulls of stomatosuchids are said to be platyrostral because they have unusually flattened, elongate, duck-shaped craniums with U-shaped jaws. This platyrostral condition is similar to what is seen in the "nettosuchid" Mourasuchus, which is not closely related to stomatosuchids as it is a more derived alligatoroid that existed during the Miocene.

Unlike Mourasuchus, stomatosuchids have jaws that are less strongly bowed. Additionally, the glenoid is rounded rather than cupped at the posterior end of the jaw, and the retroarticular process is straight rather than dorsally curving like in Mourasuchus and other extant crocodylians.The only existing specimens of stomatosuchids belong to the recently described genus Laganosuchus, which is known from two species, L. thaumastos and L. maghrebensis from the Echkar Formation in Niger and the Kem Kem Beds in Morocco, respectively. The genus Stomatosuchus is known only from a holotype skull collected from the Bahariya Formation in Egypt, which was destroyed in World War II with the bombing of the Munich Museum. Because Stomatosuchus is known only from brief accounts by Ernst Stromer and Franz Nopcsa (1926) and no additional material has ever been found, the genus remains enigmatic.The genus Aegyptosuchus was once considered to be a member of Stomatosuchidae, but it is now placed within its own family, Aegyptosuchidae.

Stomatosuchus

Stomatosuchus inermis is an extinct 10 metres (33 ft) long stomatosuchid neosuchian from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Egypt. Unlike most other crocodyliforms, it is difficult to determine exactly what S. inermis ate. Its flattened skull had a long, flat, lid-like snout, which was lined with small, conical teeth. The mandible may have been toothless and may have supported a pelican-like throat pouch.The only known specimen, a large skull, which was collected in German paleontologist Ernst Stromer's Egyptian expedition, was obliterated when the Munich Museum was destroyed during an Allied bombing raid in 1944.

Stromerosuchus

Stromerosuchus is a dubious genus of Late Cretaceous crocodyliform. Fragmentary remains have been found from the Cenomanian-age Bahariya Formation of Egypt. The genus was named in 1936 by Oskar Kuhn. It is named in honor of Ernst Stromer, the German paleontologist who found the fossils in the Bahariya Oasis in 1911 and described them in 1922. After their discovery, the fossils, along with many others found from Bahariya, were in the possession of the Egyptian Geological Survey. In 1922, the fossils were sent back to Stromer (who was in Germany at the time), but they were badly crushed in shipment from Egypt. Because the known remains are so poor, the genus is now regarded as a nomen dubium. Some material has been referred to the genera Aegyptosuchus and Stomatosuchus, both named by Stromer from the Bahariya material.

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