First occurrence of the Ichnogenus Selenichnites from the Middle Jurassic Strata of the Skoura Syncline (Middle Atlas, Morocco); Palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental context

Mostafa OUKASSOU, André CHARRIÈRE, Abdelouahed LAGNAOUI, Stacey GIBB, André MICHARD & Omar SADDIQI

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 15 (5) - Pages 461-471

Published on 30 June 2016

Mesozoic strata of North Africa yield the first occurrence of the ichnogenus Selenichnites. The trace fossils occur on the top surface of a sandy carbonate deposit in the axis of a Middle Atlas syncline (Skoura Syncline, NE Morocco). The ichnofossil-bearing horizon belongs to the Late Bajocian–Early Bathonian Ich Timellaline/Bou Akrabene Formation. The trace fossils are crescent-shaped and the best preserved exhibits a posterior central axial impression (possible telson tail impression). They are interpreted as feeding burrows (fodinichnia) or hiding depressions of Xiphosurids or Limulids (horseshoe crabs) on a sandy carbonate substrate beneath a veneer of muddy deposits. The sedimentological character suggests a relatively protected shallow water subtidal palaeoenvironment preceding the Bathonian regression of the Atlas domain. This discovery provides the first evidence of xiphosurans or xiphosuran-like organisms inhabiting the southern shores of the Tethys in the Middle Jurassic.


Selenichnites , Limulids, Subtidal palaeoenvironment, Middle Jurassic, Skoura, Middle Atlas

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