Language: Bilingual in English and French
Two years have passed since the publication of volume 1 of Fossils from Morocco. This has allowed time for the publication of another selection of the emblematic palaeontological localities of Morocco. A panorama of Mesozoic and the Caenozoic of the Kingdom of Al-Maghrib has, however, proved to be even vaster than that dedicated to the palaeozoic of the Anti-Atlas, and the author has, therefore, split the second volume into two to make Fossils from Morocco a trilogy.
The localities chosen for volume 2a are geographically limited to the Atlas, the Western Meseta and the high plateaus (hamadas) at the margin of the Eastern Anti-Atlas. They are also limited chronostratigraphically from the (Permo)-Triassic (fauna from the Argana Corridor) to the beginning of the Palaeogene (the Maastrichtian-Lutetian phosphate series of Oulad Abdoun and Ganntour Basins), passing through Jurassic (ammonites from the Lower Jurassic, sea urchins from Amellago and dinosaurs from El Mers and Boulemane) and Cretaceous localities (uncoiled ammonites and echinoderms from the North of Agadir, vertebrates from the Kem Kem beds and ammonites and marine vertebrates from the Goulmina-Asfla region). Contemporary localities from the Western Sahara and those of Northern Morocco will appear in a final volume, 2b, to be published in 2021-2022, together with localities from the Neogene and other subjects.
The present volume is based on a synthesis on scientific literature – ever-changing and forever renewed – but also on various field trips undertaken between 2013 and 2019. The fossils described are principally ammonites, sea urchins, cartilaginous and bony fishes (often only known from their teeth) and numerous marine and continental vertebrates, including spectacular mosasaurs and more fragmentary remains of amphibians, plesiosaurs, non-avian dinosaurs, birds, pterosaurs and "archaic" mammals.
The illustrations in this volume are a selection from the thousands of fossil species; they are naturally constrained by access to collections, both public and private. Photographs are shown of entire specimens for the great majority of invertebrates; vertebrate remains are often more fragmentary (teeth or isolated bones), but the author has also had access to some (sub)complete skeletons.