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.


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). 

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