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An Early Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage from the Cabao Formation of NW Libya

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 10 March 2010

Fossil vertebrates from the Cabao Formation discovered in the area of Nalut in northwestern Libya include the hybodont shark Priohybodus, the crocodilian Sarcosuchus, an abelisaurid, a baryonichine spinosaurid and a large sauropod with spatulate teeth. The Cabao Formation may be Hauterivian to Barremian in age, although an earlier Berriasian to Valanginian age cannot be excluded. Its dinosaur assemblage is reminiscent of that of the El Rhaz and Tiouraren formations of Niger and strongly differs from both the Cenomanian assemblages of Morocco and Egypt and the Late Aptian to Albian fauna of Tunisia. Fossil vertebrates may be an important tool to establish the stratigraphical framework of the poorly dated Early Cretaceous continental deposits of Africa.

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