Turiasaurus riodevensis it was the largest dinosaur in Europe. With its discovery in 2006 in a depositRiodeva, in Teruel, another group of dinosaurs was known: theturiasaurs, sauropods that lived during the Upper Jurassic, about 150 million years ago.
The team of paleontologists from theTeruel-Dinópolis Paleontological Complex Foundation It has now re-excavated at the site called RD-58, discovered seven years ago. The excavations of the past months of November and December have allowed the discovery of new fossils, as announced this week.
Despite the complexity of the excavation, due to the great hardness of the sandstone layer that contained the fossils, paleontologists have recoveredtwo teeth, vertebrae neck, back andtail, and bones of theextremities, which during the first months of 2020 they have begun to analyze in the Foundation's laboratory.
According to experts, the fossils were quite fragmented because some bones of the dinosaur were already broken before they werefossilization and, also, because certain geological faults affected some bones and interrupted the continuity of the deposit.
The recent analysis ofbones already prepared allows proposing that they all belong to the same individual. These fossils will allow us to know new characteristics of dinosaurssauropods of the groupTuriasauria to which they belong, identification made after a preliminary study of the teeth (which have the typical heart shape that characterizes this group of dinosaurs).
Furthermore, among the recovered remains «we highlight a very complete dorsal vertebra that demonstrates the complexity of these dinosaurs of dimensions that exceeded 20 meters in length”, Points out Alberto Cobos, paleontologist of the Foundation.
Multiple species candidates
A thorough scientific study will determine thespecies of turiasaurus to which these new fossils belong. Three candidate species are known for the classification of the RD-58 specimen:Turiasaurus riodevensis, Losillasaurus giganteus YZby atlanticus.
The Foundation's specialists are studying the evolution of all the representatives attributed to the group and are trying to determine where it originated, as well as its subsequent geographical dispersion. To do this, they collaborate with researchers from other countries, such as Portugal, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Following the definition ofTuriasauria in 2006, dinosaurs from Europe, Africa and North America, both the Jurassic and Cretaceous, were included in the group.