Elisabete Malafaia, Fernando Escaso, Pedro Mocho, Alejandro Serrano-Martínez, Angelica Torices, Mário Cachão & Francisco Ortega (2017)
Analysis of diversity, stratigraphic and geographical distribution of isolated theropod teeth from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin, Portugal.
Journal of Iberian Geology (advance online publication)
Isolated theropod teeth are abundant in the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin and are an important source to reconstruct the diversity of this group as well as its geographic and stratigraphic distribution. However, reliably identification of isolated teeth is complex, especially for those morphotypes related to poorly represented groups. Herein a set of isolated theropod teeth collected in different sites from the Upper Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin ranging from the late Kimmeridgian to late Tithonian in age are described and discussed.
These teeth were grouped in seventeen distinct morphotypes based first on morphology and comparative anatomy. Multivariate statistical analyses were performed in order to assign each morphotype to a certain taxon.
The current analysis shows the presence of several groups of theropods such as Ceratosaurus, Torvosaurus, and Allosaurus beside morphotypes identified as belonging to indeterminate Megalosauroidea and Allosauroidea and morphotypes tentatively assigned to Tyrannosauroidea, Dromaeosauridae, and Richardoestesia. This faunal composition, namely the presence of a non-megalosaurid megalosauroid possibly related to the piatnitzkysaurid Marshosaurus, indicates a higher diversity of theropods in the Late Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin than previously known, based on more complete specimens. Results obtained from this analysis partially agree with previous studies of other collections with isolated theropod teeth from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal such as those of the Guimarota coal mine. However, the presence of velociraptorine dromaeosaurids, compsognathids, and troodontids reported from this site could not be confirmed in the sample herein analyzed. This analysis also indicates a great similarity of the theropod faunas from the Late Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin and other European chronocorrelative localities such as those from Spain and Germany.