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Publications (4)42.13 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Dinosaur remains from the Arabian subcontinent are exceedingly rare, and those that have been documented manifest indeterminate affinities. Consequently the discovery of a small, but diagnostic, accumulation of elements from Campanian-Maastrichtian (∼75 Ma) deposits in northwestern Saudi Arabia is significant because it constitutes the first taxonomically identifiable dinosaur material described from the Arabian Peninsula. The fossils include a series of possible lithostrotian titanosaur caudal vertebrae, and some isolated theropod marginal teeth that share unique character states and metric parameters (analyzed using multivariate statistical methods) with derived abelisaurids - this is the first justifiable example of a non-avian carnivorous dinosaur clade from Arabia. The recognition of titanosaurians and abelisaurids from Saudi Arabia extends the palaeogeographical range of these groups along the entire northern Gondwanan margin during the latest Cretaceous. Moreover, given the extreme paucity of coeval occurrences elsewhere, the Saudi Arabian fossils provide a tantalizing glimpse into dinosaurian assemblage diversity within the region.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e84041. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OLIGOCENE ANTHRACOTHERIIDAE (ARTIODACTYLA) FROM THE USFAN AND SHUMAYSI FORMATIONS, WESTERN SAUDI ARABIA ZALMOUT, Iyad S.1, GUNNELL, Gregg F.2, ALMUFARREH, Yahya A.3, ALI, Mohammed A.3, NASSER, Abdulaziz H.3, MATARI, Adel H.Y.3, JAMALALDEEN, Ammar J.A.3, and GINGERICH, Philip D.4, (1) KSU Mammals Research Chair, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, P. O. Box 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Saudi Arabia, zalmouti@umich.edu, (2) Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27705, (3) Paleontology Unit, Saudi Geological Survey, PO Box 54141, Jeddah, 2151, Saudi Arabia, (4) University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 The (?Cretaceous-Oligocene) Usfan and overlying (Oligocene) Shumaysi formations are composed of pre- and synrift shallow marine to clastic sediments. These are exposed along the eastern coast of the Red Sea near Jeddah and Makkah, western Saudi Arabia. Both formations produced Oligocene terrestrial mammals including hyraxes, embrithopods, proboscideans, artiodactyls, and primates. Artiodactyl fossils found in both formations and are represented by cranial and postcranial elements. These specimens belong to the family Anthracotheriidae, an extinct group that lived in the Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America from the middle Eocene through the late Miocene. The Saudi anthracothere specimens represent Bothriogenys, a small to medium-sized taxon, with elongate skull and lower jaw with a shallow mandible, a complete dental formula (3.1.4.3), and modest diastemata between p1-c1 and c1-i3. The upper beds of the Usfan Formation yielded several specimens of Bothriogenys including a complete cranium with teeth, a lower jaw bearing complete set of teeth on left and right dentaries, and several typically artiodactyl astragali showing clear articulation facets. The middle part of the Shumaysi Fm. produced dental and postcranial elements of adult and juvenile individuals of Bothriogenys. Prior to this report, Bothriogenys was only known from the Paleogene of East and southeast Asia and the Fayum province of Egypt. The new material from western Saudi Arabia shows strong affinities with Fayumian species, in particular, the early Oligocene Bothriogenys andrewsi from the upper part of the Jebel Qatrani Formation. The Saudi specimens extend the record of Bothriogenys into the late Oligocene and fill a paleogeographic gap in the distribution of this group in the later Paleogene. 2012 GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte General Information for this Meeting Session No. 259 Paleontology: Biostratigraphy and Taphonomy Charlotte Convention Center: 217BC 1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Wednesday, 7 November 2012 Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 7, p. 605
    GSA Annual Meeting in Charlotte (4–7 November 2012) , North Carolina; 11/2012
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    ABSTRACT: A recent field survey of the Middle–Upper Triassic (upper Anisian to lowermost Carnian) paralic marine deposits of the Jilh Formation in central Saudi Arabia has yielded large quantities of vertebrate fossils. These finds prompt a revision of the existing faunal list and include at least one novel stratigraphical occurrence for the Arabian Peninsula. The remains comprise sauropterygian marine reptiles (Psephosauriscus sp., Nothosaurus cf. tchernovi, Nothosaurus cf. giganteus, Simosaurus sp.), a lungfish (Ceratodus sp.),hybodontiform sharks (Hybodus sp.) and saurichthyform actinopterygians (Saurichthys sp.). Palaeobiogeographical assessment reinforces Tethyan affinities for the assemblage and reflects the close proximity of the Arabian region to the ‘Sephardic Realm’, a compositionally distinct circum-Mediterranean faunal province characterized by hypersaline Muschelkalk facies.
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 12/2010; 122 (1)(0035-9211):1-8.
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    ABSTRACT: It is widely understood that Hominoidea (apes and humans) and Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys) have a common ancestry as Catarrhini deeply rooted in Afro-Arabia. The oldest stem Catarrhini in the fossil record are Propliopithecoidea, known from the late Eocene to early Oligocene epochs (roughly 35-30 Myr ago) of Egypt, Oman and possibly Angola. Genome-based estimates for divergence of hominoids and cercopithecoids range into the early Oligocene; however, the mid-to-late Oligocene interval from 30 to 23 Myr ago has yielded little fossil evidence documenting the morphology of the last common ancestor of hominoids and cercopithecoids, the timing of their divergence, or the relationship of early stem and crown catarrhines. Here we describe the partial cranium of a new medium-sized (about 15-20 kg) fossil catarrhine, Saadanius hijazensis, dated to 29-28 Myr ago. Comparative anatomy and cladistic analysis shows that Saadanius is an advanced stem catarrhine close to the base of the hominoid-cercopithecoid clade. Saadanius is important for assessing competing hypotheses about the ancestral morphotype for crown catarrhines, early catarrhine phylogeny and the age of hominoid-cercopithecoid divergence. Saadanius has a tubular ectotympanic but lacks synapomorphies of either group of crown Catarrhini, and we infer that the hominoid-cercopithecoid split happened later, between 29-28 and 24 Myr ago.
    Nature 07/2010; 466(7304):360-4. · 38.60 Impact Factor