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Titanosaur foraging paleoenvironments in Maastrichtian of Catalonia

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Josep Marmi, Bernat Vila, Carles Martín-Closas & Sheila Villalba-Breva (2014)
Reconstructing the foraging environment of the latest titanosaurs
(Fumanya dinosaur tracksite, Catalonia).
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.06.007

Early Maastrichtian Fumanya dinosaur tracksites are among the most
important worldwide.
Ichnology and plant taphofacies reveal two environments in a coastal area.
Taphonomical evidence suggests that titanosaurs congregated in coastal
lacustrine areas.
Our data supports the hypotheses that titanosaurs also inhabited
coastal environments.

The analysis of depositional environments associated with sauropod
dinosaurs has been revealed as a key element for assessing their
palaeoecology. A detailed study of the sedimentology, plant
taphofacies and titanosaur ichnology at the Fumanya localities (early
Maastrichtian, Catalonia) reveals that two distinct palaeoenvironments
existed within the coastal wetlands. These settings are correlated
with the occurrence of two distinct track and plant remains
distributions, which correspond to a) a marginal brackish lagoon
environment where no vegetation grew and titanosaurs roamed, during a
short time span, without apparently any preferential purpose, and b) a
freshwater swamp area around charophyte lakes with evidence of
vegetation growth (charophytes, palms, and probably ferns and
cheirolepidiacean conifers) where titanosaurs congregated and fed
actively during a long time span. These data indicate that titanosaurs
trampled the muddy substrates of freshwater wetlands in order to
forage according to the availability of plants.