Plesiosaur (Zarafasaura oceanis) tooth (5 cm) from Khouribga, Morocco


Plesiosaur (Zarafasaura oceanis) tooth from the late cretacious 65 million years old.

Tooth size: 5 cm

Matrix size: 10,3 cm

From Oulad Abdoun Basin, Khouribga, Morocco

Late Cretaceous +/- 70 million years old



This Plesiosaur (Zarafasaura oceanis) tooth was found on the Oulad Abdoun Basin, Khouribga, Morocco.

The Oulad Abdoun Basin (also known as the Ouled Abdoun Basin or Khouribga Basin) is a phosphate sedimentary basin located in Morocco, near the city of Khouribga. It is the largest in Morocco, comprising 44% of Morocco’s phosphate reserves, and at least 26.8 billion tons of phosphate. It is also known as an important site for vertebrate fossils, with deposits ranging from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Turonian) to the Eocene epoch (Ypresian), a period of about 25 million years.

Plesiosaurs were among the first fossil reptiles discovered. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, scientists realised how distinctive their build was and they were named as a separate order in 1835. The first plesiosaurian genus, the eponymous Plesiosaurus, was named in 1821. Since then, more than a hundred valid species have been described. In the early twenty-first century, the number of discoveries has increased, leading to an improved understanding of their anatomy, relationships and way of life.