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Southern Pyrenees Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction fossil record



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

José I. Canudo, Oriol Oms, Bernat Vila, Àngel Galobart, Víctor
Fondevilla, Eduardo Puértolas-Pascual, Albert G. Sellés, Penélope
Cruzado-Caballero, Jaume Dinarès-Turell, Enric Vicens, Diego
Castanera, Julio Company, Laura Burrel, Rita Estrada, Josep Marmi &
Alejandro Blanco (2015)
The upper Maastrichtian dinosaur fossil record from the southern
Pyrenees and its contribution to the topic of the
Cretaceous–Palaeogene mass extinction event.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.06.013
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667115300173


In the present paper, the fossil record of the archosaurs (dinosaurs,
crocodylomorphs and pterosaurs) of the southern Pyrenees before the
Cretaceous–Palaeogene (K–Pg) transition is revised. On the basis of
this fossil record, a well-dated succession of dinosaurs and other
archosaurs is established within polarity magnetochrons C30 and C29r.
Almost 150 sites with dinosaur remains have been identified,
containing hadrosauroid ornithopods, titanosaur sauropods and
theropods, as well as egg sites and tracks. Fossil remains of
dinosaurs and other archosaurs are abundant in C29r, disappearing
abruptly near the top of the “Lower Red Garumnian” unit of the Tremp
Formation. Thus this should be located very close to, or coinciding
with the K–Pg boundary. These data suggest that the disappearance of
the dinosaurs and other archosaurs was geologically abrupt in the
southern Pyrenees, but to date there is no incontrovertible evidence
of the presence of the impact level that marks the
Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary. Interestingly, what is highlighted in
the southern Pyrenees is that the vertebrate-rich upper Maastrichtian
continental sites were replaced by similar sedimentological facies
characterized by the virtual absence not only of dinosaurs but also of
any vertebrate remain throughout the lower Palaeocene. This could mean
that the Danian terrestrial ecosystems of the southern Pyrenees took
longer than other areas of the world to recover their biodiversity
after the K−Pg extinction event.