Djadochta Formation
Stratigraphic range: Campanian, Template:Fossilrange
Type Geological formation
Primary Sandstone
Region Asia
Country 23x15px Mongolia

The Djadochta Formation (sometimes transcribed Djadokhta) is a geological formation situated in central Asia (Gobi Desert), dating from the Late Cretaceous Period. Laid down in the early Campanian, possibly starting in the latest Santonian, it is dated somewhat uncertainly at about 75-71 mya (million years ago).[1] The type locality are the famous "Flaming Cliffs", locally known as Bayanzag ("rich in Haloxylon") or Ulaan-Ereg ("red cliffs").

It preserves an arid habitat of sand dunes, with little freshwater apart from oases and arroyos. In fact, the present-day climate at most Djadochta Formation sites differs little from what it was some 80 mya, except by being somewhat warmer and perhaps a bit less arid then. This is testimony to the fact that the location has long been so far from any major source of evaporation that little rainfall reached it, even before the Himalayas were uplifted which bar clouds from reaching today's Gobi desert.

Most notable fossil discoveries have been the first confirmed dinosaur eggs (a clutch, probably of Oviraptor) and several dinosaur finds, Protoceratops, Pinacosaurus and Velociraptor being the most prominent.

File:Resized pan-flaming-cropped2.jpg


The fauna of the Djadochta Formation is very similar in composition to the nearby Bayan Mandahu Formation. The two share many of the same genera, but differ in the exact species. For example, the most common mammal in the Djadochta is Kryptobaatar dashzevegi, while in the Bayan Mandahu, it is the closely related Kryptobaatar mandahuensis. Similarly, the dinosaur fauna of the Djadochta includes Protoceratops andrewsi and Velociraptor mongoliensis, which the Bayan Mandahu yields Protoceratops hellenikorhinus and Velociraptor osmolskae.[1] It is likely that the nearby Bayn Mandahu represents a slightly younger, perhaps by 1 million years, assemblage of slightly more derived animals, possibly the direct descendants of their Djadochta counterparts.[2]


A frog of uncertain classification is known from the formation.


Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes


G. kielanae

A gobisuchid.


S. djadochtaensis

A mesoeucrocodylian.


Z. shepardi

A gobisuchid.


Z. davidsoni

A basal crocodyliform.


Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images


A. oriens


A. gilmorei

A primitive iguanid.


E. mongoliensis

An anguimorph.


G. pulchra

An anguimorph.


M. crassus

An agamid.


P. aenigmatodes

An agamid.


P. gobiensis

An agamid.


X. aquilonia

A primitive iguanid.


Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images


B. nemegtbaataroides

A multituberculate.


D. pretrituberculare

A metatherian.


D. cretacicus

A metatherian.


H. dobsoni

A therian mammal of uncertain classification.


K. kuczynskii

  • Ukhaa Tolgod

A multituberculate.


K. gobiensis

A placental. Also present in the Bayan Mandahu Formation.


K. dashzevegi

A multituberculate, the most common mammal in this formation.[1]


Z. lechei

A placental.


Genus Species Location Abundance Notes Images


P. grangeri

  • Bayan Dzak[2]
  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]
  • Alag Teg
  • Tugriken Shireh

An ankylosaur.

P. mephistocephalus


  • Tugriken Shireh[2]

An ankylosaur.


P. djadokhtaensis

  • Alag Teg

A basal hadrosaurid.


P. andrewsi

  • Bayan Dzak[2]
  • Tugriken Shireh[2]
  • Ukhaa Tolgod[3]
  • Zos Wash[3]

A protoceratopsid.

P. hellenikorhinus


  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]

A protoceratopsid.



Saurischian dinosaurs reported from the Djadochta Formation
Genus Species Location Material Notes Images


A. ukhaana[5]

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[6]

"Partial postcranial skeleton."[7]

A basal ornithurine bird only known from this formation.

File:Saurornithoides mongoliensis.jpg
File:Velociraptor Fighting Dinosaur.jpg


A. deinosauriscus[5]

"Partial skull."[9]

A coelurosaur of uncertain relationships


B. jaffei[5]

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]

"Skull and fragmentary postcranium, [and a] fragmentary skull."[10]

A troodontid


C. osmolskae[5]

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]

"Skeleton with skull, partial postcranium, embryo to adult."[11]

An oviraptorid found brooding its eggs

Citipati sp.

  • Zamyn Khondt[2]

An oviraptorid with a distinctive, tall crest


G. minuta

  • Ukhaa Tolgod

An enantiornithine also known from the Barun Goyot Formation


G. mongoliensis

"Almost complete skeleton." [12]

A troodontid theropod.


K. mckennai

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]

"[Three] skeletons with skulls."[11]

An oviraptorid.


K. ghuva

"A well-preserved right foot"[13]

An alvarezsaurid.


M. omnogovae

  • Tugriken Shireh[2]

A dromaeosaurid.


O. philoceratops[14]

  • Bayan Dzak[2]

"[One] partial skeleton with skull"[15]

An oviraptorid.



  • Tugriken Shireh[2]

An alvarezsaurid.


Q. orientalis

"Partial skull."[16]

An nemegtosaurid


S. mongoliensis[14]

  • Bayan Dzak[2]

"Skull with fragmentary postcranial skeleton."[10]

A troodontid.


S. deserti[5]

"Skull and postcranial skeleton."[17]

An alvarezsaurid

cf. Tarbosaurus[18]


A tyrannosaurid, may actually be Zhuchengtyrannus.[18]

Tyrannosauridae indet.


A tyrannosaurid possible referable to Alectrosaurus.


T. mangas

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[2]

A dromaeosaurid.


V. mongoliensis[14]

  • Bayan Dzak[2]
  • Tugriken Shireh[2]
  • Ukhaa Tolgod

A dromaeosaurid.

cf. Zhuchengtyrannus[18]


A tyrannosaurid, may actually be Tarbosaurus.[18]

Unnamed dromaeosaurid


Unnamed troodontid

Unnamed, specimen IGM 100/1005

  • Ukhaa Tolgod[3]

Ornithomimosauria indet.

Unnamed, specimen IGM 100/1245 and IGM 100/987

skull fragments[20]


Script error

Oogenus Oospecies Location Material Notes


S. sabathi

Probably avian


  • P. sincerum
  • P. minimum
  • P. fluxuosum


  • E. frustrabilis
  • E. Subtitectorius


  • S. maiasauroides
  • S. tenuicorticus


M. mutabilis



See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Godefroit, Pascal; Currie, Philip J.; Li, Hong; Shang, Chang Yong; Dong, Zhi-ming (2008). "A new species of Velociraptor (Dinosauria: Dromaeosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of northern China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28 (2): 432–438. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2008)28[432:ANSOVD]2.0.CO;2. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 Nicholas R. Longrich, Philip J. Currie, Dong Zhi-Ming (2010). "A new oviraptorid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Bayan Mandahu, Inner Mongolia". Palaeontology 53 (5): 945–960. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00968.x. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Norell, M.A.; Clark, J.M.; Turner, A.H.; Makovicky, P.J.; Barsbold, R.; Rowe, T. (2006). "A new dromaeosaurid theropod from Ukhaa Tolgod (Omnogov, Mongolia)". American Museum Novitates 3545: 1–51. ISSN 0003-0082. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2006)3545[1:ANDTFU]2.0.CO;2. 
  4. Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar, David Weishampel, David C. Evans, and Mahito Watabe (2014). A new hadrosauroid (Plesiohadros djadokhtaensis) from the Late Cretaceous Djadokhtan fauna of southern Mongolia. [pgs. 108-135] In: David A. Eberth and David C. Evans (eds). Hadrosaurs. Proceedings of the International Hadrosaur Symposium. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-01385-9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 "47.4 Ömnögov', Mongolia; 2. Djadochta Formation." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Pg. 596.
  6. Clarke, Julia A., Norell, Mark A. (2002). "The morphology and phylogenetic position of Apsaravis ukhaana from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia". American Museum Novitates, No. 3387, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.
  7. "Table 11.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 214.
  8. Spelled "Ömnögov'" in "47.4 Ömnögov', Mongolia; 2. Djadochta Formation." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Pg. 596.
  9. "Table 4.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 76.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Table 9.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 185.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Table 8.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 167.
  12. Tsuihiji, T.; Barsbold, R.; Watabe, M.; Tsogtbaatar, K.; Chinzorig, T.; Fujiyama, Y.; Suzuki, S. (2014). "An exquisitely preserved troodontid theropod with new information on the palatal structure from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia". Naturwissenschaften. doi:10.1007/s00114-014-1143-9. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Turner, A.H.; Nesbitt, S.J.; Norell, M.A. (2009). "A Large Alvarezsaurid from the Cretaceous of Mongolia". American Museum Novitates 3648: 1–14. doi:10.1206/639.1. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 "48.11 Nei Mongol Zizhiqu, People's Republic of China; 2. Djadochta Formation." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Pg. 598.
  15. "Table 8.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 166.
  16. "Table 13.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 263.
  17. "Table 11.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 211.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Mortimer, M (2004). "Tyrannosauroidea". The Theropod Database. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  19. "Inner Mongolia" is referred to as "Nei Mongol Zizhiqu" in "48.11 Nei Mongol Zizhiqu, People's Republic of China; 2. Djadochta Formation." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Pg. 598.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ksepka, Daniel T.; Norell, Mark A. (2004). "Ornithomimosauria cranial material from Ukhaa Tolgod (Omnogov, Mongolia)". American Museum Novitates 3448: 1–4. ISSN 0003-0082. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2004)448<0001:ocmfut>;2. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Varricchio, D.J. and D.E. Barta (2015). "Revisiting Sabath's "Larger Avian Eggs" from the Gobi Cretaceous" Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60(1):11-25.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Mikhailov, K. E. (1995) "Systematic, faunistic and stratigraphic diversity of Cretaceous eggs in Mongolia: comparison with China." Sixth Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota, Beijing. Short Papers... Beijing. pp. 165-168.


  • Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. 861 pp. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
Coordinates: 44°08′19″N 103°43′40″E / 44.13861°N 103.72778°E / 44.13861; 103.72778
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