A GROUP of students at Valencia Polytechnic have won the prestigious James Dyson Award for their planet-saving invention: a buoy which filters and traps micro-plastics in the sea. Defined as pieces of plastic of less...
Remains of Europe's oldest dinosaur found in Catalunya
By thinkSPAIN Team Thu, Nov 28, 2019
DINOSAURS may have reached Europe 275,000 years earlier than initially believed, according to historians studying fossils recently found in the Pyrénées of Catalunya.
What is thought to be the first-ever Lambeosaurine Hadrosaurus on the European continent has been dug up in the Els Nerets archaeological dig in Tremp, in the land-locked province of Lleida.
Researchers from the Miquel Crusafont Catalunya Palaeontology Institute (ICP) and the Conca Dellà Museum (MCD) say Lambeosaurine dinosaurs are recognisable by the large, prominent crest on the heads, which they used for communicating with each other.
The crest is hollow, and probably played a major rôle in sexual competition due to its highly-visual nature – like a peacock's feathers or a lion's mane – and it is also thought that in certain species of dinosaur, it acted as a kind of satellite to amplify the sounds the creature made.
According to the report on the finding, published in the magazine Cretaceous Research, what are now the Pyrénées, mainland Spain, Portugal and part of France formed a huge island – referred to by prehistoric experts as the 'Ibero-Armorican Island' – around 69 million years ago, during the Maastrichtian era.
This island, part of what is now Europe and what was then a huge cluster of islands, was mainly inhabited by large plant-eating dinosaurs with long necks – the Titanosaurus – although other herbivores, the Hadrosaurus, migrated over from modern-day Asia.
Dinosaurs migrated to the 'European islands' at low tide, when the sea was shallow enough that they could walk it, and chunks of land were above the water level, so they could use them as stepping stones.
Over the past few years, the ICP and MCD have excavated 29 fossilised remains of Lambeosaurine Hadrosaurus, including fragments of their teeth and jaws, various vertebra, pieces of pelvic bones and from feet and legs, belonging to at least three individual dinosaurs.
“The presence of this type of dinosaur on the European continent signified a revolution in ecosystems in the area in the Cretaceous era,” says researcher Bernat Vila, one of the ICP-MCD team.
Co-author Albert Prieto-Márquez says findings in various Pyrénéen archaeological digs have provided evidence of dinosaurs' habitats in Europe a few thousand years before they became extinct all over the planet.
Those in the Pyrénées are among the last of the dinosaurs, the report says.
And having dated the latest fossilised remains, they have come to the conclusion that dinosaurs were alive and well in Europe around 275,000 years earlier than was first thought.
It appears that Europe was where the first and the last of the dinosaurs on earth were present.
Photograph: An illustration of a Hadrosaur (Reddit)
You may also be interested in ...
More Environment/Nature content
Teenage environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, arived in Madrid this morning after a 10-hour trip from Lisbon, and will lead this evening's protest calling for action on global warming. Honouring her self-imposed...
A neighbourhood association in Toledo has offered climate activist Greta Thunberg a donkey to make her journey from Lisbon to Madrid to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25. The 'Fray...
NOW THAT the days are getting shorter and night is falling earlier, hundreds of thousands of people on earth will be checking the daily forecast to see if they have a chance of catching the , or Northern Lights – just...