Late Cenomanian–Turonian (Cretaceous) ammonites from Wadi Qena, central Eastern Desert, Egypt: taxonomy, biostratigraphy and palaeobiogeographic implications

Emad Nagm, Markus Wilmsen


In Egypt, marine Upper Cenomanian–Turonian strata are well exposed in the Eastern Desert. The southernmost outcrops are located in the central part of Wadi Qena, where the lower Upper Cretaceous is represented by the fossiliferous Galala and Umm Omeiyid formations. From these strata, numerous ammonites have been collected bed-by-bed and 13 taxa have been identified, which are systematically described herein. Four of them (Euomphaloceras costatum, Vascoceras globosum globosum, Thomasites gongilensis and Pseudotissotia nigeriensis) are recorded from Egypt for the first time. The ammonite ranges are used for a biostratigraphic zonation of the lower Upper Cretaceous succession in the northern and central part of Wadi Qena: the Upper Cenomanian–Lower Turonian has been subdivided into five biozones (including a new upper Lower Turonian biozone based on the occurrence of Pseudotissotia nigeriensis), and one biozone has been recognized in the Upper Turonian. Palaeobiogeographically, the ammonite assemblage has a Tethyan character. During the Early Turonian, influences of the Vascoceratid Province were predominant with strong affinities to typical Nigerian faunas. This shows the significance of faunal exchange between Egypt and Central and West Africa via the Trans-Saharan Seaway. Compared to contemporaneous ammonoid faunas from the northern part of the Eastern Desert, Boreal influences are much less obvious in Wadi Qena. Thus, the present study greatly enhances the knowledge of the Late Cretaceous palaeobiogeography and biostratigraphy of Egypt and adjacent areas.


Upper Cretaceous; Ammonites; Systematic palaeontology; Biostratigraphy; Palaeobiogeography; Egypt

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