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[dinosaur] Dinosaur tracks from Portugal (free pdfs)

Ben Creisler

Some recent  dino papers not yet mentioned (in open access):

From the 2016 issue of Comunicações Geológicas



V. F. Santos (2016)
Dinosaur tracksites in the Middle Jurassic of Maciço Calcário Estremenho (west-central Portugal): a geoheritage to be enhanced.
Comunicações Geológicas 103, Especial I: 55-58

At Galinha quarry (Bairro, Ourém - Torres Novas, west-central Portugal) that was active until 1996, long Middle Jurassic sauropod trackways were discovered on the huge bottom limestone surface. The exceptional well preserved footprints and several scientific and pedagogical features, associated with the enormous potentiality of this tracksite to become a centre of research and science outreach, justified its classification as Natural Monument. At Galinha tracksite there are conditions to receive visitors and it is an exceptional place to explain geosciences issues. Middle Jurassic theropod tracks are known at Algar dos Potes and Vale de Meios (Alcanede, Santarém). These and other tracksites known in the Maciço Calcário Estremenho (west-central Portugal) are unique in Portugal due to the large number of theropod footprints and trackways, their excellent state of preservation and because they are the sole evidence of long theropod trackways. Vale de Meios tracksite is one of the most important sites with Middle Jurassic theropod tracks but it is challenged to visit because it is not protected and enhanced as it deserve.


V. F. Santos (2016)
Dinosaur tracks in the southwest Algarve Basin.
Comunicações Geológicas 103, Especial I:  117-120
ISSN: 0873-948X; e-ISSN: 1647-581X

In the Algarve Basin dinosaur tracks were discovered for the first time at Praia da Salema (Vila do Bispo, southwest Algarve) by Carlos Coke in 1995 during fieldwork in the area. Since then, research in this region has allowed the identification of five dinosaur track levels of Early Barremian age at Praia da Salema and Praia Santa (Vila do Bispo, southwest Algarve). Here, tridactyl footprints with theropod affinity and iguanodontian footprints assigned to Iguanodontipus isp. were identified. To the west of these sites, in the Upper Jurassic of Foia do Carro, sauropod trackways were also documented. Along this sedimentary sequence several isolated tridactyl footprints with ornithopod affinity were identified.


V. F. Santos, P. Caetano & A. Pólvora (2016)
Sesimbra Geocircuit and dinosaur tracksites.
Comunicações Geológicas 103, Especial I: 153-158

In Portugal since the XVth century, or even earlier, people from the Sesimbra region looked at and interpreted the dinosaur footprints on the cliffs of Cabo Espichel as having been produced by a “giant mule” that carried the Virgin Mary from the stormy sea to safety at the top of the cliffs. This became a religious myth and gave origin to the construction of the Cabo Espichel Sanctuary during the XVIIIth century. Centuries later these footprints were finally recognized as what they indeed are: Upper Jurassic sauropod footprints. Over the last 50 years fieldwork in the region has allowed the recognition of several levels with dinosaur trackways between Cabo Espichel and Lagosteiros bay and in the area of Zambujal. At  present, there are five dinosaur tracksites in Portugal designated as Natural Monuments, three of them in the Sesimbra area. Besides their scientific interest, they play an important role to enhance public awareness of geological heritage and, consequently, it will be possible to attain more success on geoconservation strategies in order to protect and to value the geological and palaeontological heritage. These geosites are an important and well known component of the Sesimbra GEOcircuit that aims to catalogue, to characterize, to interpret and to promote the geological heritage of Sesimbra.