Vertebrados de la Cuenca de Tremp en las VII Jornadas de Salas de los Infantes

Como ya se ha comentado, los días 8 y 9 de septiembre se celebró en Salas de los Infantes la séptima edición de las Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su Entorno, motivo por el cual la mayor parte del equipo del Grupo de Biología Evolutiva de la UNED se desplazó hasta la localidad burgalesa. Uno de los trabajos que se presentaron en forma de póster fue una revisión de parte de los fósiles de vertebrados recuperados en los años 50 por Emiliano Aguirre y Albert de Lapparent en la Cuenca de Tremp, y que fueron depositados en el MNCN de Madrid. A continuación el resumen del póster:

Although the paleontology of Mesozoic vertebrates was a discipline which experienced an important development during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th in several European countries (e.g. Great Britain, Germany or France), these studies barely had relevance in Spain during that period. Among the first notified discoveries of Spanish Mesozoic vertebrate remains highlighting those of dinosaur bones reported by Justo Egozcue and by Juan Vilanova y Piera, at the second half of XIX century (Vilanova y Piera, 1872, 1873; Egozcue, 1873). José Royo y Gómez was the first Spanish researcher who pursue several objectives focused on the discovery and systematic study of Spanish Mesozoic reptiles, most of them from Morella (Castellón) and Benagéber (Valencia). He published several results in various papers, over nearly a decade, between 1918 and 1927 (see Pérez García et al., 2009 and references there). However, the Spanish Civil War interrupted the career of Royo y Gómez in Spain, this discipline being paralyzed during the post-war period. The next relevant paleontological activities related to the Mesozoic sites with vertebrates were those performed in the Tremp Basin (Catalonia). In fact, these findings and activities can be considered as some of the most important from a historical perspective, since they are part of the origins of the modern Spanish vertebrate paleontology, and also the first collaborations between Spanish and foreign palaeontologists specialists in the study of Mesozoic vertebrates. Although some occasional discoveries at this Catalonian region occurred at the first quarter of the 20th century, close to the Sant Antoni dam, the first paleontological surveys and excavations in the region were not performed until the 1950s. In 1955, the “Instituto Lucas Mallada” (current Department of Geology of the “Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales”, in Madrid) sponsored an expedition in the area, which was attended by Emiliano Aguirre along with other national and European researchers, as is the case of the French paleontologist Albert de Lapparent. New sites were discovered and several Mesozoic vertebrate remains were recovered in 1955, but also in 1956 (Pereda-Suberbiola & Ruiz-Omeñaca, 2012). Thus, Lapparent and Aguirre (1956a, b) recognized the presence of the sauropod dinosaurs Hypselosaurus and Titanosaurus, the ornithopod Rhabdodon priscum, and also indeterminate crocodiles and turtles. All these sites in the Tremp Basin are now recognized as located in Maastrichtian levels, corresponding to the lower part of the Tremp Formation (Riera et al., 2009; Rosell et al., 2001).

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