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Dinosaur eggs from Lleida Province, Spain



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:

Albert G. Sellés, Ana María Bravo, Xavier Delclòs, Ferran Colombo,
Xavier Martí, Jaume Ortega-Blanco, Carme Parellada, Àngel Galobart
(2012)
Dinosaur eggs in the Upper Cretaceous of the Coll de Nargó area,
Lleida Province, south-central Pyrenees, Spain: Oodiversity,
biostratigraphy and their implications.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2012.05.004
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667112000900


The Coll de Nargó area (Lleida Province, south-central Pyrenees) has
yielded thousands of dinosaur eggs distributed in more than 30 levels
across 370 m of Upper Cretaceous Tremp Formation deposits. Two
stratigraphic units yielding dinosaur eggshells, eggs and clutches,
can be distinguished. Multiple eggshells were collected from up to 75
different in situ clutches, located in consecutive stratigraphical
levels throughout the Mas de Pinyes section. Four different oospecies
have been recognized: Megaloolithus aureliensis, Megaloolithus
siruguei, Megaloolithus cf. baghensis and Cairanoolithus cf.
roussetensis. In absence of typical biochronological markers, fossil
eggshells may have potential as a tool for dating. Based on these
ootaxa, three oozones can be established along the stratigraphic
section. The lower assemblage is composed by M. aureliensis, M.
siruguei and Cairanoolithus cf. roussetensis; the middle one consists
only of M. siruguei, while the upper oozone is characterized by M. cf.
baghensis. Results suggest that the age of Coll de Nargó rocks ranges
from the latest Campanian to the beginning of the Late Maastrichtian.
Also reported is the first evidence of the oogenus Cairanoolithus
outside of France, where it was regarded as an endemic ootaxon. The
Coll de Nargó area is considered to be one of the most important
dinosaur nesting areas in Europe recurrently used by several dinosaurs
during a long time span. Finally, the presence of fossilized eggshell
membrane in several specimens from Coll de Nargó contributes to
understanding the taphonomic process of megaloolithid eggs in this
area.