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4.27 Plesiosaur Zarafasaura Vertebra Backbone Fossil - Morocco

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4.27 Plesiosaur Zarafasaura Vertebra Backbone Fossil - Morocco

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Zarafasaura oceanis (Vincent et al., 2011)
aka the "Giraffe Lizard Daughter of the Sea"

Ouled Abdoun Basin, Couche III,
Khourigba, Morocco, North Africa

Upper Cretaceous Period - 70.6 - 66 Million Years Old

Vertebra : 4.27 x 3.31 in.

1 inch = 2.54 cm

Offered here is a fairly complete vertebra of a Plesiosaur with the spinous processes still intact and what remains of the two transverse process.


This specimen comes from the phosphate mines located near Khourigba, Morocco and is dated to the Upper Cretaceous Period (70.6-66 Million Years Old)

The Zarafasaura is an extinct type of elsamosaurid found in central Morocco and first described by scientists in 2011. Belonging to the larger group of Plesiosaurs, this long necked marine reptile swiftly maneuvered the seas and fed on primitive fish and other small prey with it's long and sharp teeth.

The name Zarafasaura oceanis comes from several meanings, "Zarafa" for the term the local miners gave the fossils when they are found - meaning "giraffe", "saurus" which is Greek for "lizard", and "oceanis" is Latin for "daughter of the sea" - so here we present to you the "Giraffe Lizard Daughter of the Sea"!