The Cretaceous Skeleton Coast of Angola

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Abstract

THE CRETACEOUS SKELETON COAST OF ANGOLA JACOBS, Louis, SMU, Dallas, TX, USA; POLCYN, Michael, SMU, Dallas, TX, USA; MATEUS, Octávio, Museu da Lourinhã, Lourinhã, Portugal; SCHULP, Anne, Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands; NETO, André , Universidade Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola Cretaceous coastal sediments of Angola present a rich and diverse fauna of marine amniotes, including turtles, mosasaurs, and plesiosaurs. The abundance of mosasaurs in particular suggests a highly productive coastal area. Angola today lies at the northern limit of the Namibian Desert, the so-called Skeleton Coast, which results from prevailing southeasterly winds of the descending limb of the southern Hadley Cell sweeping across the African coast. The Benguela upwelling and a highly productive sea are found today off the Namibian Desert coast. However, the Benguela upwelling system, based on results of DSDP studies, is said to have originated in the late Neogene and therefore cannot explain the productivity found along the length of the West African coast. The explanation is found in the northward drift of Africa through the arid climate zone, and is demonstrated by the tracing of the paleogeographic position of fossil localities through time.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)121A
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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