Plesiosaur fossils on the coast of Asturias

April 28th, 2008

Aragonese dinosaur hominid and maño by adoption and inclination, Rupert Glasgow has kindly sent me the latest update on Spanish dinosaurs from aragosaurus, this time news of Plesiosaur fossils on the coast of Asturias.

The latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (March, 2008) features a paper entitled “A Juvenile Plesiosaur from the Pliensbachian (Lower Jurassic) of Asturias, Spain”.

Plesiosaurs were marine reptiles that flourished through much of the Mesozoic Era, from the Upper Triassic to the Cretaceous. Along with the ichthyosaurs and the pliosaurs, they were classic “sea-monsters” or “sea-serpents” from the age of dinosaurs. Famously described as “a snake threaded through the body of a turtle”, or as resembling some strange cross between a lizard, a crocodile and a turtle, they combined barrel-like bodies, four flippers and a mouthful of sharp teeth: they were powerful and highly successful predators. Later forms from the Cretaceous reached lengths of 15 metres and had exceedingly long necks. Among cryptozoologists, the plesiosaur has traditionally been one of the favourite candidates as a possible Loch Ness Monster.

According to the authors of the paper, the size of the specimen found in Asturias suggests that it was an immature individual with an estimated body length of 1.8 metres. The fossil remains include eight vertebral centra, seven neural arches and sixteen ribs, which were recovered at the foot of the Santa Mera sea-cliffs, near Villaviciosa. They are currently on display in the Jurassic Museum of Asturias (MUJA).

The bones are excellently preserved, yet as the incomplete nature of the specimen makes precise identification impossible, the authors assign it to indeterminate Plesiosauroidea. It is the most complete plesiosaur yet found in Spain, one of the few specimens of young plesiosaur worldwide, and also one of the few specimens of plesiosaur dating from the Pliensbachian, some 183-89 million years ago.

For more information: see (Noticias, 19 April 2008)

Dinosaurs in Aragon

November 17th, 2007

Aragonese dinosaur man Rupert Glasgow of the excellent aragosaurus has kindly sent me this news review of their recent work with dinosaurs.

theropod dinosaur tooth (aragosaurus)

New Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Site Found

The search for vertebrate fossils from the Lower Cretaceous of Teruel (part of a regional-government backed project) has borne fruit in the form of fossils from a new site. The location in question is the Aragonese town of Miravete de la Sierra, where a number of dinosaur teeth have recently come to light.These discoveries have been presented to the scientific community at the international palaeontology congress held at Salas de los Infantes (Burgos, Spain) from 13-15 September and at the meeting of the Spanish Palaeontology Society at Caravaca de la Cruz (Murcia, Spain).
The findings include isolated teeth from various small theropod dinosaurs (carnivores), as well as tooth fragments from spinosaurid theropods and iguanodontid ornithopods. This latter group comprises medium-sized and large plant-eaters, of which the most famous one is Iguanodon. At present the material recovered is too fragmentary to be able to provide a more specific classification.
The discoveries represent an extension of the ongoing research being carried out in Teruel by the Grupo Aragosaurus, the Mesozoic and Quaternary Vertebrate Palaeontology Group of the University of Zaragoza.Let’s hope this new area proves to be as rich in fossils as Galve, Josa or Peñarroya de Tastavins. For more information: see (Noticias, 9 Oct 2007)

Found: Spain’s most modern dinosaur ichnites

The Grupo Aragosaurus has recently discovered a whole new cluster of ichnites produced by hadrosaur dinosaurs (a group of “duck-billed” herbivores) from the Upper Maastrichtian of the Pyrenees, near the town of Serraduy in Huesca, Aragon.
Sites of ichnites, or fossilized footprints, from the end of the Cretaceous are rare in the Iberian Peninsular. The only other one currently known in Aragon is to be found at Arén, also in Huesca. Thus the great interest generated by this new discovery of ichnites in rocks from the Upper Maastrichtian, just over 65 million years ago. The footprints in question were produced by hadrosaur dinosaurs sinking into the mud of ancient rivers. A number of such ichnites are in evidence, clearly enough preserved to make out the individual toes. Together with other footprints from north of Barcelona, they represent the most modern record of dinosaur ichnites in the Iberian Peninsular, and are among the most modern in the world.
At present scientists are still unsure of the exact timing of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (or K-T boundary), when the meteorite impact took place, but it is known that these ichnites were formed a few thousand years prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs. For this reason, the ichnites are of great scientific interest, although they are not spectacular enough to warrant exhibition, for the time being at least. For more information see: (Noticias, 19 July 2007)