Cretaceous terrestrial biota from the Republic of Niger

De Mendoza CONICET

There are few places in Africa where the continental Cretaceous is well exposed and fossiliferous. In Western Africa, in the north of the Niger Republic, geological events due to the erection of the Aïr Montain and the Recent desertification expose four different formations which have yielded numerous terrestrial and freshwater fossils. These four formations are: the Tiourarén Fm considered like Berriasian, the famous Elrhas Fm of the Gadoufaoua area (Aptian), the In’Abangharit Series (Cenomanian) and the In’Beceten Fm (Coniacian-Santonian). The biota components of the organisms include, plants (Araucariaceae), molluscs, elasmobranchs (Hybodontidae), actinopterygians (Polypteridae, Semionotiformes, Lepisosteiformes, Pycnodontiformes, Osteoglossomorpha), lungfishes (Asiatoceratodus, Protopterus), coelacanths (Mawsonia), salamanders (? Kababisha), frogs (Pipidae), sqamates (Madtsoia), turtles, pterosaurs, crocodiles (Araripesuchus, Elosuchus, Sarcosuchus…), and at least dinosaurs represented by more than 15 different species. Despite intensive sievings, in these four formations, only two mammal teeth have been found.

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