Titanosaurios de la Península Ibérica en las VIII Jornadas de Salas de los Infantes


Hace algunas semanas se presentó en las VIII Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su entorno, en Salas de los Infantes (Burgos, España), una comunicación oral que propone una puesta al día sobre los titanosaurios de la Península Ibérica, así como el impacto del descubrimiento del yacimiento de Lo Hueco (Cuenca) en la comprensión del grupo de los dinosaurios saurópodos del Cretácico Europeo.

El resumen es el siguiente:

The first titanosaurian occurrences of the Iberian Peninsula are reported in the Maastrichtian of the Tremp Basin in the middle of the 20th century. Posteriorly, titanosaurs have been referred in several other localities from the Lower, and especially, Upper Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula, including several localities  in  Spain  (in Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Cataluña, Castilla y León and Aragón) and also Portugal. The oldest unambiguous occurrence referred to Titanosauria is the recently published lithostrotian material from the Cenomanian of Algora (Castilla-La Mancha), which was tentatively related with  titanosaurian  representatives  from  the Cretaceous  of  Africa. However, the titanosaurian fossil record has an important gap up  to  the  sedimentary rocks of the Iberian Campanian-Maastrichtian, where there is a diverse and rich fossil record. The same small-to-medium sized titanosaur Lirainosaurus astibiae was the first established titanosaurian especies from the Iberian Peninsula and was found in the locality  of  Laño  Basque-Cantabrian  Region).  In  Laño  quarry,  several  titanosaurian individuals were identified, and they have been referred to this taxon. However,  the possibility of two sauropod taxa in this locality is not excluded. After Laño, several other localities have been found, especially in the Castilla-La Mancha region (e.g. Lo Hueco in Cuenca or Poyos in Guadalajara). The most impressive locality is Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spain), which represents a Campanian-Maastrichtian multitaxic bonebed, with several partial titanosaurian skeletons, articulated or with low dispersion. This accumulation is key for the comprehension of the titanosaur evolutionary history in the European territory. Preliminary studies suggested for the presence of two different taxa (including Lohuecotitan pandafilandi, the second titanosaurian species established from the Iberian record), but recent works on axial remains are suggesting a higher diversity. The evolutionary history of  the  middle  to  Late Cretaceous Iberian titanosaurs is still uncertain. The first phylogenetic analyses  suggested the presence of saltasaurid affinities, but they have been recently recovered as close related forms with other Iberoarmorican (Ampelosaurus atacis and Atsinganosaurus velauciensis) and Eastern Europe (Paludititan nalatzensis) titanosaurs, which in other hand have been related with North-African  forms.  A  higher  diversity  has  been  suggested  for  Ibero-armorican  domain, including Iberian Peninsula, during the Campanian-early Maastrichtian, followed by its decline and replacement during afaunal turnover event in the early-late Maastrichtian. 


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