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      Europatitan eastwoodi, a new sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the initial radiation of somphospondylans in Laurasia

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          Abstract

          The sauropod of El Oterillo II is a specimen that was excavated from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation (Burgos, Spain), late Barremian–early Aptian, in the 2000s but initially remained undescribed. A tooth and elements of the axial skeleton, and the scapular and pelvic girdle, represent it. It is one of the most complete titanosauriform sauropods from the Early Cretaceous of Europe and presents an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the radiation of this clade in the Early Cretaceous and study the paleobiogeographical relationships of Iberia with Gondwana and with other parts of Laurasia. The late Barremian–early Aptian is the time interval in the Cretaceous with the greatest diversity of sauropod taxa described in Iberia: two titanosauriforms, Tastavinsaurus and Europatitan; and a rebbachisaurid, Demandasaurus. The new sauropod Europatitan eastwoodi n. gen. n. sp. presents a series of autapomorphic characters in the presacral vertebrae and scapula that distinguish it from the other sauropods of the Early Cretaceous of Iberia. Our phylogenetic study locates Europatitan as the basalmost member of the Somphospondyli, clearly differentiated from other clades such as Brachiosauridae and Titanosauria, and distantly related to the contemporaneous Tastavinsaurus. Europatitan could be a representative of a Eurogondwanan fauna like Demandasaurus, the other sauropod described from the Castrillo de la Reina Formation. The presence of a sauropod fauna with marked Gondwananan affinities in the Aptian of Iberia reinforces the idea of faunal exchanges between this continental masses during the Early Cretaceous. Further specimens and more detailed analysis are needed to elucidate if this Aptian fauna is caused by the presence of previously unnoticed Aptian land bridges, or it represents a relict fauna from an earlier dispersal event.

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          On the Classification of the Fossil Animals Commonly Named Dinosauria

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            Phylogenetic Inference From Restriction Endonuclease Cleavage Site Maps with Particular Reference to the Evolution of Humans and the Apes

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ
                PeerJ Inc. (San Francisco, USA )
                2167-8359
                27 June 2017
                2017
                : 5
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Museo de Dinosaurios , Salas de los Infantes, Burgos, Spain
                [2 ]Colectivo Arqueológico-Paleontológico Salense , Salas de los Infantes, Burgos, Spain
                [3 ]Paleontología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain
                [4 ]Grupo Aragosaurus—IUCA, Universidad de Zaragoza , Zaragoza, Spain
                [5 ]Departamento de Geología, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ávila, Universidad de Salamanca , Salamanca, Spain
                [6 ]GeoBioTec, Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa , Caparica, Portugal
                [7 ]Museu da Lourinhã , Lourinhã, Portugal
                Article
                3409
                10.7717/peerj.3409
                5490465
                76125d58-a121-485c-922e-ac30fb18f8f8
                © 2017 Torcida Fernández-Baldor et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                Funding
                Funded by: Dirección General de Patrimonio de la Junta de Castilla y León
                Funded by: Fundación para el estudio de los dinosaurios de Castilla y León
                Funded by: Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, and the Government of Aragón (“Grupos Consolidados”)
                Award ID: CGL2014-53548-P
                Funded by: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
                Award ID: SFRH/BPD/113130/2015
                The fieldwork was financed by the “Dirección General de Patrimonio de la Junta de Castilla y León” and the “Fundación para el estudio de los dinosaurios de Castilla y León.” This paper is part of the collaboration between the “Colectivo Arqueológico y Paleontológico Salense,” the “Museo de los Dinosaurios de Salas de los Infantes,” and Zaragoza University. It is partially subsidized by the project CGL2014-53548-P of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, and the Government of Aragón (“Grupos Consolidados”). MMA is supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, grant number SFRH/BPD/113130/2015. There was no additional external funding received for this study The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Evolutionary Studies
                Paleontology

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