Tortugas ibéricas en las VII Jornadas de Salas de los Infantes

Hace unos días, entre el 8 y el 10 de septiembre, se celebraron en Salas de los Infantes (Burgos) las VII Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su Entorno. Gran parte de los integrantes del Grupo de Biología Evolutiva de la UNED asistieron a este encuentro, participando de manera muy activa. Así, varias de las principales líneas de investigación actualmente en desarrollo fueron presentadas como pósteres y comunicaciones orales (de los que informaremos en los próximos días), pero también mediante una ponencia invitada. El objetivo de dicha ponencia era realizar una puesta al día sobre el registro de tortugas tanto mesozoicas como cenozoicas ibéricas, y resaltar sus principales implicaciones, tal como se aprecia en su título: “An update on the Iberian fossil record of turtles. Systematic and paleobiogeographical implications”. Su resumen es el siguiente:

Turtles are a group of diapsid reptiles, known from the Late Triassic. This clade is still part of the current biodiversity. The extant forms are very diverse, and are adapted to different environments. In this sense, terrestrial turtles and marine forms are identified, numerous freshwater taxa also being recognized. Thus, this group has adapted to multiple ecological niches, which has involved relevant anatomical modifications concerning, among other aspects, those relative to the locomotion or the feeding. The adaptation to many environments is a reason by which this group is well represented in the fossil record. However, an even more important aspect that justifies its good record is the presence of a shell, usually forming a robust structure. The shell provides many characters of great interest for the systematic and phylogenetic studies of this group.
The Iberian fossil record of turtles so far known begins in the Late Jurassic. From that moment, the turtle remains represent relatively common fossils in both the Spanish and the Portuguese fossil records. The information on the forms that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula has increased significantly in recent years. Thus, this region is now known as one of the richest and most diverse in Europe considering the fossil record of turtles. Due to its geographical position, the Iberian Peninsula has been a region where clades of turtles from several continents have dispersed: North America, Africa and Asia. Several factors, such as the disappearance of geographical barriers, or changes in the global temperatures, can explain some of these migrations. In addition, several exclusively European lineages, as well as forms hitherto not known outside the Iberian Peninsula, are also recognized. An update on the record, diversity and systematics of the turtles that lived in the Iberian Peninsula, considering both their paleobiogeographical and biostratigraphic distributions, is performed here.

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