Nuevos datos sobre los saurópodos del Jurásico Superior de la sub-cuenca de Turcifal en el XIV Annual Meeting de la EAVP

Durante estos días se ha celebrado el XIV encuentro anual de la European Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists en Haarlem (Holanda), donde se ha presentado una nueva comunicación sobre dinosaurios saurópodos del Jurásico Superior de la cuenca lusitánica. Este trabajo liderado por Pedro Mocho (Grupo de Biología Evolutiva UNED / Sociedade de História Natural) se centra en el amplio registro fósil de saurópodos encontrado en la sub-cuenca de Turcifal. Gran parte de este material sigue inédito y en estudio, pero en este análisis preliminar se identifica la presencia de eusaurópodos basales, diplodócidos y macronarios en el Jurásico Superior de la sub-cuenca de Turcifal.

The Turcifal Sub-basin is located at the SW part of the Lusitanian Basin Central sector (Portugal), and is particularly rich in dinosaur fossil-sites, revealing a diverse dinosaur fauna composed by sauropods, theropods, thyreophorans and ornithopods. The sauropods are well represented in this sub-basin. However, relatively scarce information is so far available because most of these specimens are currently under study and/or in preparation. Most of the sauropod discoveries at the Turcifal Subbasin come from the Sobral and Freixial Formations. Many sauropod fossil-sites were located in the Torres Vedras municipality, highlighting the localities of Praia Azul, Cambelas, Assenta and Gentias. One of the most important sites is located in Casal da Costa (Cambelas). Appendicular and axial sauropod material, including dorsal vertebrae, was recovered there. The dorsal vertebrae share a similar morphology to those of Camarasaurus supremus, sharing the presence of bifurcated neural spines with camarasaurids. The presence of a circular spinoprezygapophyseal fossa suggests that this sauropod could be attributed to Lourinhasaurus alenquerensis. Another specimen found in Cambelas, known by axial and appendicular remains, was previously related to Diplodocidae based on the presence of a marked expansion of the ischiatic distal end. The presence of a pronounced lateral bulge, observed in the femur of this specimen, is generally considered as a synapomorphy of Titanosauriformes. However, it also occurs in Diplodocus. Other partial skeleton, also found in Cambelas, has an anterior caudal neural spine with a delta-shaped distal end, a feature common in camarasaurids. Other sauropod occurrences in this area include several teeth (heart-, spatulate- and compressed cone-chisel-shaped teeth), axial and appendicular elements. The Upper Jurassic sauropod fossil record is abundant in the Turcifal Sub-basin, and is still relatively unknown. A preliminary analysis of this record notes the presence of basal eusauropods (probably turiasaurs), diplodocids (a specimen with diplodocine affinities), and basal macronarians (including camarasaurids and titanosauriforms).