30 October 2015

Vertebrate microfossils from the Camarillas Formation

Vertebrate microfossils from the locality of El Espeltar, Camarillas Formation, Teruel province, Spain: isolated teeth of crocodylomorphs (a-f: goniopholidids, atoposaurids and bernissartids); g-h- osteichthyes (g-h) and chondrichtyes (i).Vertebrate microfossil accumulations are frequent in some layers from the Wealden facies of the Galve subbasin such as those from the lacustrine El Castellar Formation. However they are not as abundant in the overlaying Camarillas Formation, with dominantly fluvial character and Barremian in age.

Reference:
Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M. y Canudo, J.I. 2011. Dientes de dinosaurios en el Barremiense de Allepuz, Teruel. Viajando a mundos pretéritos (eds. Pérez-García, A., Gascó, F., Gasulla, J.M. y Escaso, F.), Ayuntamiento de Morella, 145-155.DOWNLOAD

25 August 2015

European iguanodont dinosaurs: the Spanish Delapparentia turolensis vs the English Barilium dawsoni

Delapparentia turolensis Ruiz-Omeñaca, 2011 was the first ornithopod erected in the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. It is described on the basis of a partial postcranial skeleton discovered in the 1950s near the village of Galve (Teruel Province), within the Camarillas Formation (Barremian). Recently, new remains have been recovered and described. Delapparentia turolensis is a large-sized, basal iguanodont which presents an autapomorphic, unusually high axial neural spine and a unique combination of postcranial characters. The ilium morphology differs from that of other basal iguanodonts and relates Delapparentia to the Valanginian Barilium dawsoni from England, with whom it shares two synapomorphies.

Reference;
Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Ruiz-Omeñaca, J.I., Canudo, J.I. 2015. New material and phylogenetic position of the basal iguanodont dinosaur Delapparentia turolensis from the Barremian (Early Cretaceous) of Spain. Journal of Iberian Geology, 41 (1), 57-70. DOWNLOAD HERE

16 June 2015

New dinosaur fossils from the Mirambel Formation

New dinosaur fossils (ornithopods and sauropods) have been described in the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. In the picture an overview of the Lower Cretaceous badlands (Wealden facies) where one of the fossil sites is placed, in the Ladruñán anticline. The relief on the background consist of Upper Cretaceous marine limestones. This is the "Barrancada del Convento" site which has provided an isolated ornithopod phalanx. The short papers are available here:
Gasca, J.M., Canudo, J.I. 2015. Sobre la presencia de Sauropoda (Dinosauria) en la Formación Mirambel (Barremiense inferior, Teruel, España). Geogaceta, 57, 59-62. DOWNLOAD
Gasca, J.M., Ramón del Río, D., Moreno-Azanza, M., Canudo, J.I. 2015. Fósiles aislados de dinosaurios ornitópodos (Iguanodontia) de la Formación Mirambel (Cretácico Inferior, Teruel, España). Geogaceta, 57, 63-66. DOWNLOAD

28 May 2015

Dinosaurs walking along the lakeshore

Shallow lacustrine deposits from the Barremian Mirambel Formation (Teruel province, Spain) hold some dinosaur tracks which were recently discovered. Here a nice theropod footprint that is sinking the underlying laminated sediments. A first report of this dinosaur track record was presented in this conference paper:

Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Canudo, J.I., Díaz-Martínez, I., Castanera, D., Ramón del Río, D. 2013. Dinosaur fossil sites from Ladruñán anticline (Mirambel Formation, Early Cretaceous, Teruel, Spain): tracks and bonebeds. In: VI Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su entorno, Abstract Book (F. Torcida Fernández-Baldor & P. Huerta, eds.), pp. 74-75. DOWNLOAD HERE

13 May 2015

Mineral treasures within fossil bones

This is a spectacular example of calcite crystals growing within the centrum of a theropod dinosaur vertebra. The fossil comes from Camino de la Algecira boneded (Teruel, Spain), which is a fossil site where some other striking diagenetic processes have already been described (Bauluz et al., 2014).

Reference:
Bauluz, B., Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Canudo, J.I. 2014. Unusual replacement of biogenic apatite by aluminium-phosphate phases in dinosaur teeth of Early Cretaceous of Spain. Lethaia, 47, 556-566. DOI: 10.1111/let.12081 (REQUEST PDF HERE)

08 May 2015

Ankylosaur remains

An isolated osteoderm of an ankylosaur from the early Barremian El Castellar Formation, Teruel province. Thyreporan dinosaurs are scarce in the Lower Cretaceous from Spain but some occurrences have been cited (e.g. Pereda-Suberbiola et al., 2007; Gasulla et al., 2011). In Teruel province thyreophorans are also present within the Wealden facies (Pereda-Suberbiola et al., 2005; Gasca et al., 2009).

References:
Gasca, J.M., Gómez-Fernández, D., Moreno-Azanza, M., Canudo, J.I. 2009. Un paseo por los yacimientos del tránsito Hauteriviense - Barremiense (Cretácico Inferior) de Aragón. Paleolusitana, 1, 211-219. DOWNLOAD HERE

Gasulla, J.M., Ortega, F., Pereda-Suberbiola, X., Escaso, F., Sanz, J.L. 2011. Elementos de la armadura dérmica del dinosaurio anquilosaurio Polacanthus Owen, 1865, en el Cretácico Inferior de Morella (Castellón, España). Ameghiniana, 48, 4, 508-519.

Pereda Suberbiola, X. Galton, P.M., Ruiz-Omeñaca J.I., Canudo, J.I. 2005. Dermal spines of stegosaurian dinosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous (Hauterivian-Barremian) of Galve (Teruel, Aragón, Spain). Geogaceta, 38, 35-38. 

Pereda-Suberbiola, X., Fuentes, C., Meijide, M., Meijide-Fuentes, F., Meijide-Fuentes Jr., M. 2007. New remains of the ankylosaurian dinosaur Polacanthus from the Lower Cretaceous of Soria, Spain. Cretaceous Research, 28, 583-586. 

24 April 2015

A new Mesozoic mammal genus recently erected

Not only dinosaurs can be found within the vertebrate fossil record from the Spanish Wealden facies. These are teeth of a recently erected mammal genus from the El Castellar Formation: the spalacotheriid Aliaga molinenses from the Molino Alto fossil site (municipality of Aliaga, Teruel province, Spain), early Barremian in age. Spalacolestines are more diverse in North America, where they ranged from Albian–Campanian, but first appear in the Barremian of Western Europe, supporting the hypothesis that the group had a Eurasian origin and later dispersed to North America.

Figure caption (Cuenca-Bescós et al., 2014: fig. 2): A–E, left m1, MPZ-2013/11, in occlusal (A), distal (B), mesial (C), mesiobuccal (D), and mesiolingual (E) views; F–J, left mx, MPZ-2013/12 (holotype), in occlusal (F), distal (G), mesial (H), buccal (I), and lingual (J) views; K, MPZ-2013/13, broken right mx in occlusal view; L–P, right mp, MPZ-2013/14, in occlusal (L), mesial (M), distal (N), buccal (O), and lingual (P) views. Note the bilobed mesial root visible in the distal and lingual views.

Reference:

Cuenca-Bescós, G., Canudo, J.I., Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Cifelli, R. 2014. Spalacotheriid symmetrodonts from the Early Cretaceous of Spain. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 34 (6), 1427-1436. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2014.866574 Request paper

22 April 2015

The Earth Day

Today is the Earth Day. To commemorate the day, this is a picture from a nice place in the heart of the Maestrazgo highlands: the Source of the Pitarque River. This is not the actual source of the river but is called so because water resurfaces again at this point of the limestone canyon after flowing underground in a section of the headwaters. The canyon was formed by fluvial erosion of Upper Cretaceous limestones. This place that is within the Maestrazgo Geopark (Teruel province, Spain) is visited by many tourists throughout the year.

13 April 2015

Spinosaurid dinosaur tooth

This is a spinosaurid tooth recovered during the excavations in the vertebrate fossil site called "Camino de la Algecira", from Ladruñán, Teruel province.

This fossil locality is a vertebrate skeletal concentration with disarticulated bones and teeth of several individuals. Dinosaur bones are the most frequent remains, with at least two undetermined dinosaur taxa (iguanodontian and theropod). Crocodylomorph teeth and scarce osteichthyan remains are also present. In addition to the vertebrate remains, plant remains and internal casts of freshwater bivalves are profuse. Oyster remains sometimes encrust the bone surfaces.

Some articles on this Barremian fossil site:

Bauluz, B., Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M., Canudo, J.I. 2014. Unusual replacement of biogenic apatite by aluminium-phosphate phases in dinosaur teeth of Early Cretaceous of Spain. Lethaia, 47, 556-566.

Gasca, J.M., Canudo, J.I., y Moreno-Azanza, M. 2009. New iguanodontian dinosaur remains from the Early Barremian of Spain (Castellote, Teruel). 69th Annual Meeting Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the 57th Symposium of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA), University of Bristol, United Kingdom, September 23-26, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29, supplement to number 3, 103A. DOWNLAD

Gasca, J.M. 2011. Conociendo a los dinosaurios de Ladruñán. Peirón, 21, Centro de Estudios del Maestrazgo Turolense, 16-22. DOWNLOAD



09 April 2015

Sauropod bone under sandstones

Isolated humerus of a sauropod dinosaur from the Barremian Mirambel Formation. This fossil come from the locality of Cerro Marín which is located between the villages of Mirambel and Cantavieja, within Teruel province, Spain.

It was discovered in 2013 and described in the following paper (on the presence of Sauropoda in the Mirambel Formation):
Gasca, J.M., Canudo, J.I. 2015. Sobre la presencia de Sauropoda (Dinosauria) en la Formación Mirambel (Barremiense inferior, Teruel, España). Geogaceta, 57, 59-62.

07 April 2015

Cretaceous outcrops from Spain

Panoramic view of Wealden deposits from Teruel province, Spain: lutites and sandstones from the Camarillas Formation outcropping in the valley of the Alfambra river, near the village of Allepuz. Some dinosaur fossil sites are known in this area (Gasca, 2011; Gasca et al. 2011). 

References:
Gasca, J.M. 2011. Descripción de una tibia de dinosaurio ornitópodo de la Formación El Castellar (Cretácico Inferior, Teruel). Paleontologia i evolució, memoria especial 5, 179-183. DOWNLOAD
Gasca, J.M., Moreno-Azanza, M. y Canudo, J.I. 2011. Dientes de dinosaurios en el Barremiense de Allepuz, Teruel. Viajando a mundos pretéritos (eds. Pérez-García, A., Gascó, F., Gasulla, J.M. y Escaso, F.), Ayuntamiento de Morella, 145-155. DOWNLOAD