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Last dinosaur footprints in Europe, ornithopods in Spain

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Cayetano Herrero, Emilio Herrero, Javier Martín-Chivelet & Félix
Pérez-Lorente (2015)
Contribution to knowledge of the last dinosaur footprints in Europe.
Persistence of ornithopods in the upper Maastrichtian of SE Spain.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)


Two new dinosaur ichnite sites (DIS-1 and DIS-2) reported from the
uppermost Cretaceous of Jumilla-Yecla area in SE Spain.
DIS 1, lower Maastrichtian, includes sauropod ichnites (probably
titanosaurian) and other rounded footprints.
DIS 2, uppermost Maastrichtian, contains large ornithopod footprints,
among the closest to the K/Pg boundary in Europe.
Large trydactyl ornithopod footprints of latest Maastrichtian age
attributed to cf.
Paleoenvironments represented by complex coastal wetlands which
probably attracted dinosaur biota.


In the locality of Rambla de los Gavilanes (Betic Chain Murcia,
Spain), six new outcrops with dinosaur footprints are reported from an
uppermost Cretaceous succession of coastal marine deposits. Four of
these sites are found in the upper part of the lower Maastrichtian and
the other two in the upper Maastrichtian, these latter located only a
few meters below the Cretaceous-Paleocene boundary (K/Pg). Traces
appear as impressions or as natural casts, on tabular limestone beds
consisting of micritic carbonate facies, these deposited in coastal
marine areas that include a variety of environments (coastal lakes,
tidal flats, salt marshes, and shallow coastal lakes). Two main types
of traces have been recognized, respectively attributed to sauropod
footprints and large ornithopod footprints with remarkable pointed
hoof marks. The Maastrichtian sites with large ornithopod footprints
in Europe are reported from Spain, Poland and Romania. Sauropod
(titanosaurian), theropod (Irenesauripus and other undetermined
theropods), and ornithopod footprints have been found at sites located
up to 20 m below the K/Pg boundary. The Spanish dinosaur ichnites
known closest to the K/Pg boundary are in the Pyrenean upper
Maastrichtian, and are tridactyl, theropod and ornithopod
(Hadrosauropodus and Amblydactylus) footprints. In this work, the
assignation of the Rambla de los Gavilanes ornithopod footprints has
been made following the recommended synthesis in several recent papers
which reduce the large ornithopod ichnogenus to four.