Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Duck-billed' Dinosaurs: Last European Hadrosaurs Lived In Iberian Peninsula

Date:
November 6, 2009
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Spanish researchers have studied the fossil record of hadrosaurs, the so-called "duck-billed" dinosaurs, in the Iberian Peninsula for the purpose of determining that they were the last of their kind to inhabit the European continent before disappearing during the K/T extinction event that occurred 65.5 million years ago. Most notable among these fossils is the discovery of a new hadrosaur, the Arenysaurus ardevoli, found in Huesca, Spain.

Fossils of hadrosaurs.
Credit: Aragosaurus Group

Spanish researchers have studied the fossil record of hadrosaurs, the so-called 'duck-billed' dinosaurs, in the Iberian Peninsula for the purpose of determining that they were the last of their kind to inhabit the European continent before disappearing during the K/T extinction event that occurred 65.5 million years ago. Most notable among these fossils is the discovery of a new hadrosaur, the Arenysaurus ardevoli, found in Huesca, Spain.

A few million years before the catastrophic event that led to the extinction of dinosaurs (with the exception of birds), several species of hadrosaurs coexisted in the Iberian Peninsula. This is what a Spanish team of paleontologists have demonstrated in a research article published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

"The Iberian archeological record is important from an European context due to the quantity and quality of the fossil material discovered," explains Xavier Pereda-Suberbiola, one of the study's authors and a researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU).

The researcher, collaborating with paleontologists from the University of Zaragoza, Valencia, Complutense of Madrid, Autonoma de Barcelona and the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, specifies that the presence of evolved hadrosaurs in Europe could be due to migration from Asia and North America.

"In Europe, primitive hadrosaurs coexist with evolved hadrosaurs, and the persistence of basal members could be due to the insular palaeobiogeography of Europe during the Upper Cretaceous," states the scientist. In addition to the fossils found in the Iberian Peninsula, hadrosaur fossils have been found in the Netherlands, which date back to Late Cretaceous, "although the material is more fragmented than those found in Huesca and Lleida," adds Pereda-Suberbiola.

During that time period, Europe was isolated from other continents and this may have led to the survival of certain lineages. "The European hadrosaur faunas are different from those seen in North America and Asia, which are both dominated by evolved species," explains Pereda-Suberbiola.

Next to the hadrosaurs, identifiable by the fossilized mandibles found in the arechological sites of La Solana (Valencia) and Fontllonga (Lleida), were a lambeosaurine hadrosaurs yet to be defined, and a newly discovered lambeosaurine, the Arenysaurus ardevoli.

An articulated cranium of great value

The study of the last hadrosaurs that lived in the Iberian Peninsula has been possible thanks to the discovery by the Aragosaurus-IUCA Group of the University of Zaragoza, led by Jose Ignacio Canudo, of the first articulated hadrosaur skull found in southern Europe, from the archeological sites of Arén, in Huesca, Spain.

The skull belongs to an Arenysaurus ardevoli, a lambeosaurine (hadrosaur with a hollow cranial crest), whose description was recently published in the French journal Comptes Rendus Palevol, and was part of the Spanish fossil record.

According to paleontologists, the new lambeosaurine lived between 65.5 and 68 million years ago, had a very prominent frontal dome, and its biogeographical relationships suggest a paleobiogeographical connection between Asia and Europe during the Late Cretaceous.

Researchers have found, in addition to the partially articulated skull, the mandibular remains and postcranial elements such as vertebrae, girdle and limb bones.

The Spanish archaeological record of hadrosaurs is the largest in Europe. Out of the 50 locations where dinosaur remains were discovered since 1984, nearly half have been found in Lleida and Huesca. These archeological sites stand out for containing fossils pertaining to several species of duck-billed dinosaurs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pereda-Suberbiola, Xabier; Canudo, José Ignacio; Company, Julio; Cruzado-Caballero, Penélope; Ruiz-Omenaca, José Ignacio. Hadrosauroid Dinosaurs from the Latest Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2009; 29 (3): 946 DOI: 10.1671/039.029.0317

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "'Duck-billed' Dinosaurs: Last European Hadrosaurs Lived In Iberian Peninsula." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102726.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2009, November 6). 'Duck-billed' Dinosaurs: Last European Hadrosaurs Lived In Iberian Peninsula. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102726.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "'Duck-billed' Dinosaurs: Last European Hadrosaurs Lived In Iberian Peninsula." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091105102726.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — After testing DNA from a shawl found near one of Jack the Ripper's victims, a scientist said he'd identified the killer. New reports refute the claim. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — A 380-million-year-old fish may be the first creature to have copulative sex - and it was side by side with arms linked, like square dancers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) — With Sweden on the look-out for a suspected Russian sub, a lot of people are talking about the Cold War, but is it an apt comparison? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) — Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins