Preliminary Report on a Vertebrate Paleontological Investigation of the Middle Triassic Jilh Formation, Central Saudi Arabia

SGS-OF-2007-2 Thomas H. Rich, Benjamin P. Kear, Mohammed A. Halawani, Mohammed A. Ali, Yahya A. Al-Mufarrih, Adel H. Matiri, and Abdo M. Masary
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ABSTRACT
The recent discovery of high concentrations of bones and teeth preserved in the Middle Triassic Jilh Formation of central Saudi Arabia demonstrates the potential of this unit as a significant source of vertebrate fossils. The remains were derived from 18 sample localities spread along some 220 km of the 770 km of exposed Jilh Formation rocks. The most productive sites were located at Khashm Dalqan, about 45 km ENE of Al Quway’iyah and near Al Butayn, about 65 km north of Ar Rubay’iyah, with sporadic bone material occurring elsewhere throughout the section. The fossil specimens include primarily marine reptiles (sauropterygians) with sharks (hybodontiforms), bony fish (ceratodontid lungfish) and some terrestrial reptiles (a possible prolacertiform and procolophonid) also present. This material will be studied collaboratively by a joint Saudi-Australian team. However, initial preparation (removal of rock from the bones) must be undertaken with specialist equipment in Australia, optimally by Saudi Geological Survey staff working under the tutelage of an experienced preparator at Museum Victoria, Melbourne.

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Rich, T.H., Kear, B.P., Halawani, M.A., Ali, M.A., Al-Mufarrih, Y.A., Matiri, A.H., Masary, A.M., 2007, Preliminary report on a vertebrate paleontological investigation of the Middle Triassic Jilh Formation, Central Saudi Arabia: Saudi  Geological Survey  Open-File Report SGS-OF-2007-2, 18 p., 3 figs., 1 app.