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The singular Upper Cretaceous vertebrate sites of the Guadalajara Province (Central Spain): New data on the faunas from the Cenomanian of Algora and the Uppermost Cretaceous of Poyos

Abstract : The Cretaceous vertebrate fauna of the Guadalajara Province (Castilla-La Mancha, Central Spain) was unknown until a few years ago. In fact, the systematic excavation campaigns in Guadalajara began in 2013, those carried out in 2016 and 2017 being especially relevant. These works were performed in two fossiliferous areas, separated from each other by about 60 km, both located in the Castilian Branch of the Iberian Ranges: the Cenomanian area of Algora, especially the ALG-B site (Algora municipality); and the uppermost Cretaceous outcrops of the western margin of the Buendía Reservoir, especially the Poyos site (Sacedón municipality). Localities with fossil vertebrates from the lower part of the Upper Cretaceous are very scarce in Europe and, to date, the locality of Algora shows the highest concentration of vertebrate remains recognized in the Cenomanian of this continent. Thus, the fossils from Algora add important data for the understanding of the faunal turnover recognized when the Lower Cretaceous and the uppermost Cretaceous faunas are compared. The study of the new remains presented here allows us to analyze in more detail the fauna of fishes, characterize the primitive turtle members present in this locality, know new anatomical characters for the oldest European pleurodiran turtles, identify and describe remains of elasmosaurids, recognize the presence of eusuchian crocodyliforms, describe the oldest lithostrotian titanosaurs of the Iberian Peninsula, and perform a detailed analysis of the theropod fauna. Several lineages from this site show a Gondwanan origin. Poyos is an uppermost Cretaceous site located in one of the worldwide largest dinosaur nesting areas, found in 2016. Thus, these fossiliferous levels extends over more than 10 km. With the exception of an isolated vertebral centrum of a titanosaur sauropod, no other specimen from this locality has been published so far. The preparation of the fossils found in 2006 and 2017 allows us to analyze both oological and osseous remains. Not only isolated sauropod eggshells, but also complete eggs and several dinosaur clutches, have been found. They show several singularities relative to both the microstructure of the eggshells and the disposition of the eggs, in relation to those previously found in other uppermost Cretaceous Iberian regions. In addition to elements of bothremydid turtles and probably allodaposuchid crocodiles, the remains of dinosaurs are abundant in this region, including several partial skeletons. Among them, a probable new middle-sized theropod is identified. Grant Information Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (CGL2015-68363-P, IJCI-2016- 30427) and Viceconsejería de Cultura de Castilla-La Mancha (SBPLY/0021-0070).
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Submitted on : Monday, March 25, 2019 - 2:48:04 PM
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Adán Pérez García, Nathalie Bardet, Francisco Gasco, Raul de la Horra, Marcos Martín Jiménez, et al.. The singular Upper Cretaceous vertebrate sites of the Guadalajara Province (Central Spain): New data on the faunas from the Cenomanian of Algora and the Uppermost Cretaceous of Poyos. 78th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Oct 2018, Albuquerque, United States. pp.197. ⟨insu-02078615⟩

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