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Qasr el Sagha Formation

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Quasr el Sagha Formation
Stratigraphic range: Priabonian
~37–34 Ma
TypeGeological formation
Sub-unitsDir Abu Lifa & Temple Members
UnderliesGebel Qatrani Formation
OverliesBirket Qarun Formation
Lithology
PrimarySandstone
OtherMudstone
Location
LocationFayum District
Coordinates29°30′N 30°30′E / 29.5°N 30.5°E / 29.5; 30.5Coordinates: 29°30′N 30°30′E / 29.5°N 30.5°E / 29.5; 30.5
Approximate paleocoordinates24°54′N 26°30′E / 24.9°N 26.5°E / 24.9; 26.5
Country Egypt
ExtentWadi El Hitan
Qasr el Sagha Formation is located in Egypt
Qasr el Sagha Formation
Qasr el Sagha Formation (Egypt)

The Qasr el Sagha Formationis a geological formation located in Egypt[1] The formation is part of the Wadi El Hitan World Heritage Site. The Qasr el Sagha Formation overlies the Birket Qarun Formation and is overlain by the Gebel Qatrani Formation. The sandstones and shales of the formation were deposited in a deltaic to shallow marine environment.[2] It dates to the Late Eocene (middle Priabonian, 37.2 to 33.9 million years ago).[3]

Discover more about Qasr el Sagha Formation related topics

Egypt

Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip of Palestine and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northeast separates Egypt from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt, while Alexandria, the second-largest city, is an important industrial and tourist hub at the Mediterranean coast. At approximately 100 million inhabitants, Egypt is the 14th-most populated country in the world.

World Heritage Site

World Heritage Site

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain "cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity".

Sandstone

Sandstone

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized silicate grains. Sandstones comprise about 20–25% of all sedimentary rocks.

Shale

Shale

Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock formed from mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals (hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates, e.g. kaolin, Al2Si2O5(OH)4) and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. Shale is characterized by its tendency to split into thin layers (laminae) less than one centimeter in thickness. This property is called fissility. Shale is the most common sedimentary rock.

River delta

River delta

A river delta is a landform shaped like a triangle, created by deposition of sediment that is carried by a river and enters slower-moving or stagnant water. This occurs where a river enters an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, or another river that cannot carry away the supplied sediment. It is so named because its triangle shape, resembles the Greek letter Delta. The size and shape of a delta is controlled by the balance between watershed processes that supply sediment, and receiving basin processes that redistribute, sequester, and export that sediment. The size, geometry, and location of the receiving basin also plays an important role in delta evolution.

Depositional environment

Depositional environment

In geology, depositional environment or sedimentary environment describes the combination of physical, chemical, and biological processes associated with the deposition of a particular type of sediment and, therefore, the rock types that will be formed after lithification, if the sediment is preserved in the rock record. In most cases, the environments associated with particular rock types or associations of rock types can be matched to existing analogues. However, the further back in geological time sediments were deposited, the more likely that direct modern analogues are not available.

Priabonian

Priabonian

The Priabonian is, in the ICS's geologic timescale, the latest age or the upper stage of the Eocene Epoch or Series. It spans the time between 37.71 and 33.9 Ma. The Priabonian is preceded by the Bartonian and is followed by the Rupelian, the lowest stage of the Oligocene.

Paleontological significance

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Fossils of the early whale genus Saghacetus ("Sagha whale", originally named "Zeuglodon osiris") were first collected at Qasr al Sagha by German explorer Georg August Schweinfurth in January 1886 (a well-preserved dentary).Saghacetus is common in the middle of Qasr el Sagha, but there are few other specimens of archaeocetes whales; the only exception being the enigmatic "Prozeuglodon stromeri", named in 1828 based on specimens from 1904, but never adequately described before their destruction during the bombing of Munich in World War II.[4]

Other fossils found in the formation include:[5]

Mammals

Afrotheres

Afrotheres
Genus Species Presence Stratigraphic member Material Notes Images
Archaeosiren A. stromeri Westlich von Dimeh, Fayum.[6] A skull & isolated thoracic vertebrae.[6] Synonym of Eosiren libyca.
Barytherium B. cf. B. grave Locality 25 & an unspecified locality.[7] Dir Abu Lifa Member.[7] 2 teeth (DPC 2917 & 4071).[7] A basal proboscidean.
Barytherium graveDB1.jpg
Eosiren E. libyca North of Birket Qarun.[6] Temple Member.[6] Skulls & vertebrae.[6] A dugongid.
Eosiren lybica.JPG
Moeritherium M. lyonsi Various localities.[7] Dir Abu Lifa Member.[7] Numerous specimens.[7] A basal proboscidean.
Moeritherium NT small.jpg
Pliohyracidae Genus & species indeterminate ½ mile east of Qasr el Sagha Temple.[7] Dir Abu Lifa Member.[7] A mandible (AMNH 13445).[7] A large hyrax formerly thought to be a juvenile specimen of Moeritherium gracile.[7]
Protosiren P. sp. Mandible.[6] Actually from the Gehannam Formation or Birket Qarun Formation.

Ferae

Ferae
Genus Species Presence Stratigraphic member Material Notes Images
Apterodon A. saghensis Locality 25.[7] Dir Abu Lifa Member.[7] Left mandibular fragment.[7] A hyaenodont.
A. sp. Three localities.[7] Dir Abu Lifa & Temple member.[7] Mandibular elements & 2 humeri.[7] A hyaenodont.
cf. Hyaenodon cf. H. brachycephalus "Near Qasr el Sagha".[7] An eroded left mandibular corpus (AMNH 128553).[7] A hyaenodont.

Ungulates

Ungulates
Genus Species Presence Stratigraphic member Material Notes Images
cf. Bothriogenys cf. B. sp. Locality 25.[7] Dir Abu Lifa Member.[7] A weathered right distal humerus & shaft.[7] An anthracothere.
Bothriogenys fraasi.JPG
Dorudon D. atrox "Feinktirnigem graugriinlichem Sandstein der Saghastufe, Fayum".[6] Remains of an immature individual now destroyed.[6] A basilosaurid whale.
Dorudon cropped.png
Prozeuglodon P. stromeri "Feinktirnigem graugriinlichem Sandstein der Saghastufe, Fayum".[6] Remains of an immature individual now destroyed.[6] Junior synonym of Dorudon atrox.
Saghacetus S. osiris Multiple localities.[6] Temple Member.[6] Multiple specimens.[6][8] A basilosaurid whale.
Saghacetus osiris eo sup fayum.JPG
Stromerius S. nidensis Blanckenhorn’s interval II 5a of the Saghastufe.[9] Temple Member.[9] 2 vertebral sequences (UM 100140 & BSPM 1902.XI.504-510).[9] A basilosaurid whale.
Stromerius vertebrae Stromer 1903.png
Zeuglodon Z. elliotsmithii North of Birket Qarun.[6] An endocast.[6] Junior synonym of Saghacetus osiris.
Z. sensitivus Gar-el-Gehannem.[6] Temple Member.[6] An endocast.[6] Junior synonym of Saghacetus osiris.
Z. zitteli "Zeuglodonberg".[6] A fragmentary rostrum & 3 articulated cervical vertebrae.[6] Junior synonym of Saghacetus osiris.

Reptiles

Squamates

Squmates
Genus Species Presence Stratigraphic member Material Notes Images
Gigantophis G. garstini "An unspecified locality north of Birket Qarun, Fayum".[10] Vertebrae & ribs.[10] A madtsoiid snake.

Testudines

Testudines
Genus Species Presence Stratigraphic member Material Notes Images
Andrewsemys A. libyca An almost complete & well-preserved shell.[11] A podocnemidid.
Cordichelys C. sp. North of Birket Qarun.[12] A nearly complete cranium lacking only the premaxillae (UMMP 13994).[12] A podocnemidid.
Stereogenys 'S.' libyca An almost complete & well-preserved shell.[11] Reassigned to Andrewsemys.
S.(?) sp. North of Birket Qarun.[12] A mostly-complete carapace & plastron (CGM 8718).[12] A podocnemidid.

Fish

Discover more about Paleontological significance related topics

Taxon

Taxon

In biology, a taxon is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. Although neither is required, a taxon is usually known by a particular name and given a particular ranking, especially if and when it is accepted or becomes established. It is very common, however, for taxonomists to remain at odds over what belongs to a taxon and the criteria used for inclusion. If a taxon is given a formal scientific name, its use is then governed by one of the nomenclature codes specifying which scientific name is correct for a particular grouping.

Ichnotaxon

Ichnotaxon

An ichnotaxon is "a taxon based on the fossilized work of an organism", i.e. the non-human equivalent of an artifact. Ichnotaxa comes from the Greek ίχνος, ichnos meaning track and ταξις, taxis meaning ordering.

Archaeoceti

Archaeoceti

Archaeoceti, or Zeuglodontes in older literature, is a paraphyletic group of primitive cetaceans that lived from the Early Eocene to the late Oligocene. Representing the earliest cetacean radiation, they include the initial amphibious stages in cetacean evolution, thus are the ancestors of both modern cetacean suborders, Mysticeti and Odontoceti. This initial diversification occurred in the shallow waters that separated India and Asia 53 to 45 mya, resulting in some 30 species adapted to a fully oceanic life. Echolocation and filter-feeding evolved during a second radiation 36 to 35 mya.

Saghacetus

Saghacetus

Saghacetus is an extinct genus of basilosaurid early whale, fossils of which have been found in the Upper Eocene Qasr el Sagha Formation, Egypt.

Georg August Schweinfurth

Georg August Schweinfurth

Georg August Schweinfurth was a Baltic German botanist and ethnologist who explored East Central Africa.

Bombing of Munich in World War II

Bombing of Munich in World War II

The bombing of Munich took place mainly in the later stages of World War II. Munich was, and is, a significant German city, as much culturally as industrially. Augsburg, thirty-seven miles to the west, was a main centre of diesel engine production, and was also heavily bombed during the war. Although some considerable distance from the United Kingdom, Munich is not a difficult city to find from the air, mainly due to its size, and possibly its proximity to the Austrian Alps to the south-east as a visual reference point. Munich was protected (initially) by its distance from the United Kingdom.

Mammal

Mammal

Mammals are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, and three middle ear bones. These characteristics distinguish them from reptiles from which they diverged in the Carboniferous, over 300 million years ago. Around 6,400 extant species of mammals have been described divided into 29 orders. The largest orders, in terms of number of species, are the rodents, bats, and Eulipotyphla. The next three are the Primates, the Artiodactyla, and the Carnivora.

Eosiren

Eosiren

Eosiren is an extinct genus of sea cow that lived during the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene (Rupelian). Several fossils have been found in Egypt. It seems like the species E. abeli were contemporaneous with Protosiren and Eotheroides. like them, Eosiren closely resembled modern sirenians. It differes from them by having somewhat larger innominates and possess thigh bones.

Barytherium

Barytherium

Barytherium is a genus of an extinct family (Barytheriidae) of primitive proboscideans that lived during the late Eocene and early Oligocene in North Africa. The type species is Barytherium grave, found at the beginning of the 20th century in Fayum, Egypt. Since then, more complete specimens have been found at Dor el Talha, Libya. More fossils were also discovered in 2011 in the Aidum area in Dhofar by Oman's Ministry of Heritage and Culture, which was named Barytherium omansi.

Proboscidea

Proboscidea

The Proboscidea are a taxonomic order of afrotherian mammals containing one living family (Elephantidae) and several extinct families. First described by J. Illiger in 1811, it encompasses the elephants and their close relatives. From the mid-Miocene onwards, most proboscideans were very large. The largest land mammal of all time may have been a proboscidean; Palaeoloxodon namadicus was up to 5.2 m (17.1 ft) at the shoulder and may have weighed up to 22 t, almost double the weight of some sauropods like Diplodocus carnegii. The largest extant proboscidean is the African bush elephant, with a record of size of 4 m (13.1 ft) at the shoulder and 10.4 t. In addition to their enormous size, later proboscideans are distinguished by tusks and long, muscular trunks, which were less developed or absent in early proboscideans.

Dugongidae

Dugongidae

Dugongidae is a family in the order of Sirenia. The family has one surviving species, the dugong, one recently extinct species, Steller's sea cow, and a number of extinct genera known from fossil records.

Moeritherium

Moeritherium

Moeritherium is an extinct genus of primitive proboscideans. These prehistoric mammals are related to the elephant and, more distantly, sea cows and hyraxes. They lived during the Eocene epoch.

Source: "Qasr el Sagha Formation", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qasr_el_Sagha_Formation.

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References
  1. ^ Vickers-Rich & Rich 1993
  2. ^ Gingerich et al., 2019
  3. ^ Tamariskenbucht (Eocene of Egypt) in the Paleobiology Database. Retrieved July 2013.
  4. ^ Gingerich 2007, pp. 363–4
  5. ^ Qasr el Sagha Formation at Fossilworks.org
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Gingerich, Philip D (September 2006). "Marine Mammals (Cetacean and Sirenia) from the Eocene of Gebel Mokattam and Fayum, Egypt: Stratigraphy, Age, and Paleoenvironments". University of Michigan Papers on Paleontology. 30: 1–84.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Holroyd, P.; Simons, E.; Bown, T.; Polly, P. D.; Kraus, M. (1996). "New records of terrestrial mammals from the Upper Eocene Qasr El Sagha Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt". undefined.
  8. ^ Gingerich, Philip D. "Early Evolution of Whales A Century of Research in Egypt". Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins.
  9. ^ a b c Gingerich, Philip. "Stromerius Nidensis, New Archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) From the Upper Eocene Qasr El-Sagha Formation, Fayum, Egypt". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ a b Rio, Jonathan P.; Mannion, Philip D. (2017-07-04). "The osteology of the giant snake Gigantophis garstini from the upper Eocene of North Africa and its bearing on the phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of Madtsoiidae". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 37 (4): e1347179. doi:10.1080/02724634.2017.1347179. ISSN 0272-4634.
  11. ^ a b Pérez-García, Adán (2019-03-16). "New information and establishment of a new genus for the Egyptian Paleogene turtle 'Stereogenys' libyca (Podocnemididae, Erymnochelyinae)". Historical Biology. 31 (3): 383–392. doi:10.1080/08912963.2017.1374383. ISSN 0891-2963.
  12. ^ a b c d Cherney, Michael D.; Mantilla, J. a. W.; Gingerich, P.; Zalmout, Iyad S.; Antar, M. (2020). "New Specimens of the Late Eocene Turtle Cordichelys (Pleurodira: Podocnemididae) From Wadi Al Hitan and Qasr El-Sagha in the Fayum Province of Eqypt". undefined.

Bibliography

  • A. Pérez-García. 2019. New information and establishment of a new genus for the Egyptian Paleogene turtle ‘Stereogenys’ libyca (Podocnemididae, Erymnochelyinae). Historical Biology 31(3):383-392
  • S. Adnet, H. Cappetta, S. Elnahas and A. Strougo. 2011. A new Priabonian Chondrichthyans assemblage from the Western desert, Egypt: Correlation with the Fayum oasis. Journal of African Earth Sciences 61:27-37
  • Gingerich, Philip D (2007). "Stromerius nidensis, new archaeocete (Mammalia, Cetacea) from the Upper Eocene Qasr El-Sagha Formation, Fayum, Egypt" (PDF). Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology. 31 (13): 363–78. OCLC 214233870.
  • Vickers-Rich, Patricia; Rich, Thomas Hewitt V. (1993). Wildlife of Gondwana. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-7301-0315-3.

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