ERFOUD, LAND OF FOSSILS
Morocco is a paradise for people interested in paleontology and mineralogy, both for the number of fossils and for the easy access to them because they are in areas of bare rock.
During the Devonian period, the Paleozoic Era, about 380 million years ago, the Moroccan Sahara (Rissani) was a great prehistoric ocean, the first proto-Tetis Mediterranean Sea. The southeast of the Moroccan Sahara is now a rich source of a large number of fossils. Paleontological research indicates that in the area of Arfoud it was a seabed, where there were many types of marine animals, some of which do not exist today.
Geologically, there are many mines and quarries, where the fossils are embedded in the huge rocks, each quarry has its own characteristics in terms of age, raw materials, and color.
Almost all the fossils that you find for sale are true, although there is also some counterfeiting.
Regarding minerals, we must be more careful, since many are imported from South America for sale to tourists.
- Trilobites: Extracted from the Cambrian and Ordovician rocks of Antiatlas. The specimens of phacops are not abundant but very well preserved. They are so abundant that they are not usually forgeries (except those larger than 5 cm)
- Ammonoids (ammonites): You can find several species, almost all from the Cretaceous platform of the Central High Atlas. The most abundant in stores are the calycoceras and the procheloniceras (Cretaceous Antiatlas) and the mammites (Cretaceous of the High Atlas). Calycoceras tend to chisel the umbilical area to make them more attractive. The asymmetric heteróceras and of almost half a meter in length are impressive.
- Orthoceras and goniatites: Extracted in the Ordovician and Silurian rocks of the Erfoud area. They are tremendously abundant, constituting authentic lumaquelas. The rock from which they are extracted is that used by the artisans of Erfoud to carve ornaments in stone.
- Crinoids: They are extracted from the Cambrian deposits of Erg Chebbi, and the specimens are really magnificent ... few like those in the world. They work and sell in Erfoud. They are the most valuable fossils that you can buy in Morocco.
- Shark teeth: You can find serratolamma and larger isurus, both Cenozoic.
- Brachiopods: Large numbers of Rynconellas are found, from the Jurassic limestones of the high atlas. There are also spiryfers and cyclothyris
- Bivalves: You will find many rascomum neocomienses.
- Gastropods, echinoderms, cnidarians and others exist in stores, but they are minority.
- Other fossils: we can find for sale fossils of spiders, crabs, scorpions and trilobites with their antennae exposed of very doubtful credibility.
Articles and links of interest: