Teeth found in La Rioja demonstrate the great diversity of spinosaurs in the Iberian Peninsula

Teeth found in La Rioja demonstrate the great diversity of spinosaurs in the Iberian Peninsula

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These fossils of theropod dinosaurs were found in the outcrops of the Enciso Group of Igea, dating between 129 and 110 million years.

Researchers from the La Rioja Paleontological Interpretation Center, the Paleontology Chair at the University of La Rioja and the University of the Basque Country have found twelvetheropod dinosaur teeth in the outcrops ofEnciso's Group of Igea (La Rioja, Spain).

It belongs to the early Barremian-Aptian, that is, they have a dating of between 129 and 110 million years.

The conclusions of this work, published in the journalCretaceous Research, indicate a great diversity and distribution of spinosaurus dinosaurs in the Iberian Peninsula.

The pieces have been grouped by the researchers into two groups of teeth with the same characteristics. On the one hand, those ofBaryonyx from Portugal and England, which are more like the teeth ofSuchomimus from Africa, and other indeterminate barioniquines from the Iberian Peninsula.

They are differentiated by the absence or presence of denticles in the mesial carenas (anterior border). These morphotypes have been previously identified in theMaestrazgo basin, but in that of Cameros (La Rioja) only teeth with serrated mesial fairings had been described so far.

The largest in the Peninsula

The statistical analysis of the pieces found shows that the isolated teeth found in the town ofTrevijano (La Rioja) are the largest spinosaurine teeth in the Iberian Peninsula.

Additionally, this analysis supports the assignment of Igea teeth to theropods.baryonyquins. These morphotypes could belong to different taxa or to the same one, so the differences between them are due to intraspecific variations.

The Spinosaurid fossil record from the Cameros Basin indicates a greater abundance, distribution and diversity of the two known groups (spinosaurs and baryonychines) in Europe than previously thought.

Likewise, together with the remains of other spinosaurids from the peninsula, these isolated teeth support that there was a connection between the Iberian peninsula and Africa during theLower Cretaceous, which would make possible the faunal exchange between both land masses.

The presence of baryonychins and spinosaurs in this type of environment is consistent with what has been proposed in other studies, which indicate that these dinosaurs preferred to inhabitCoast zones or close to the coast.

However, the remains found in the deposits of Teruel and Cuenca indicate that they would also inhabit inland areas, far from the coast.


Isasmendi E. et al. “New insights about theropod palaeobiodiversity in the Iberian Peninsula and Europe: Spinosaurid teeth (Theropoda, Megalosauroidea) from the Early Cretaceous of La Rioja (Spain) ”,Cretaceous Research.
Source: SINC

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