Lourinhã Portugal

Guillaume, A. R. D., Moreno-Azanza M., & Mateus O. (2018).  Microvertebrates from the Lourinhã Formation (Late Jurassic, Portugal). 1st Palaeontological Virtual Congress. online. Abstractguillaume-et-al_pvc2018_abstract.pdf

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Waskow, K., & Mateus O. (2017).  Dorsal rib histology of dinosaurs and a crocodylomorph from western Portugal: Skeletochronological implications on age determination and life history traits. Comptes Rendus Palevol. 16, 425-439. Abstractwaskowmateus2017_histology.pdfWebsite

Abstract Bone histology is an important tool for uncovering life history traits of extinct animals, particularly those that lack modern analogs, such as the non-avian dinosaurs. In most studies, histological analyses preferentially focus on long bones for understanding growth rates and determining age. Here we show, by analyzing ornithischians (a stegosaur and an ornithopod), saurischians (a sauropod and a theropod), and a crocodile, rib histology is a suitable alternative. The estimated age for all sampled taxa ranges between 14 to 17 years for Lourinhanosaurus antunesi and 27 to 31 years estimated for Draconyx loureiroi. The theropod Baryonyx was skeletally mature around 23–25 years of age but showed unfused neurocentral sutures, a paedomorphic feature possibly related to aquatic locomotion. Our results show that ribs can contain a nearly complete growth record, and reveal important information about individual age, point of sexual maturity, and, in some cases, sex. Because ribs are more available than long bones, this method opens new possibilities for studying rare and incomplete fossils, including holotypes.

Russo, J., Mateus O., Balbino A., & Marzola M. (2014).  Crocodylomorph eggs and eggshells from the Lourinhã Fm. (Upper Jurassic), Portugal. Comunicações Geológicas. 101, Especial I, 563-566. Abstractrusso_et_al_2014_crocodylomorph_eggs_and_eggshells_from_the_lourinha_fm_upper_jurassic_portugal.pdf

We here present fossil Crocodylomorpha eggshells from the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, recovered from five sites: one nest from Cambelas with 13 eggs, and three partial eggs and various fragments from, Paimogo N (I), Paimogo S (II), Casal da Rola, and Peralta. All specimens but the nest were found in association with dinosaur egg material. Our research reveals that on a micro- and ultrastructural analysis, all samples present the typical characters consistent with crocodiloid eggshell morphotype, such as the shell unit shape, the organization of the eggshell layers, and the triangular blocky extinction observed with crossed nicols. We assign the material from the Lourinhã Formation to the oofamily Krokolithidae, making it the oldest crocodylomorph eggs known so far, as well as the best record for eggs of non- crocodylian crocodylomorphs. Furthermore, our study indicates that the basic structure of crocodiloid eggshells has remained stable since at least the Upper Jurassic.

Mateus, O., Mannion P. D., & Upchurch P. (2014).  Zby atlanticus, a new turiasaurian sauropod (Dinosauria, Eusauropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34(3), 618-634. Abstractmateus_et_al_2014_zby_atlanticus.pdfWebsite

Here we describe a new partial sauropod skeleton from the late Kimmeridgian (Late Jurassic) of the Lourinhã Formation, central west Portugal. The closely associated specimen comprises a complete tooth (with root), a fragment of cervical neural arch, an anterior chevron, and an almost complete right pectoral girdle and forelimb. The new sauropod, Zby atlanticus, n. gen. et sp., can be diagnosed on the basis of four autapomorphies, including a prominent posteriorly projecting ridge on the humerus at the level of the deltopectoral crest. Nearly all anatomical features indicate that Zby is a non-neosauropod eusauropod. On the basis of several characters, including tooth morphology, extreme anteroposterior compression of the proximal end of the radius, and strong beveling of the lateral half of the distal end of the radius, Zby appears to be closely related to Turiasaurus riodevensis from approximately contemporaneous deposits in eastern Spain. However, these two genera can be distinguished from each other by a number of features pertaining to the forelimb. Whereas previously described Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropods show close relationships with taxa from the contemporaneous Morrison Formation of North America, it appears that turiasaurians were restricted to Europe. All adult sauropods recovered in the Late Jurassic of Portugal thus far are very large individuals: it is possible that the apparent absence of small- or medium-sized adult sauropods might be related to the occupation of lower-browsing niches by non-sauropods such as the long-necked stegosaur Miragaia longicollum.

Mannion, P. D., Upchurch P., Barnes R. N., & Mateus O. (2013).  Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 168, 98-206. Abstractmannion_et_al_2013_sauropod_lusotitan_portugal.pdfWebsite

Titanosauriforms represent a diverse and globally distributed clade of neosauropod dinosaurs, but their inter-relationships remain poorly understood. Here we redescribe Lusotitan atalaiensis from the Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, a taxon previously referred to Brachiosaurus. The lectotype includes cervical, dorsal, and caudal vertebrae, and elements from the forelimb, hindlimb, and pelvic girdle. Lusotitan is a valid taxon and can be diagnosed by six autapomorphies, including the presence of elongate postzygapophyses that project well beyond the posterior margin of the neural arch in anterior-to-middle caudal vertebrae. A new phylogenetic analysis, focused on elucidating the evolutionary relationships of basal titanosauriforms, is presented, comprising 63 taxa scored for 279 characters. Many of these characters are heavily revised or novel to our study, and a number of ingroup taxa have never previously been incorporated into a phylogenetic analysis. We treated quantitative characters as discrete and continuous data in two parallel analyses, and explored the effect of implied weighting. Although we recovered monophyletic brachiosaurid and somphospondylan sister clades within Titanosauriformes, their compositions were affected by alternative treatments of quantitative data and, especially, by the weighting of such data. This suggests that the treatment of quantitative data is important and the wrong decisions might lead to incorrect tree topologies. In particular, the diversity of Titanosauria was greatly increased by the use of implied weights. Our results support the generic separation of the contemporaneous taxa Brachiosaurus, Giraffatitan, and Lusotitan, with the latter recovered as either a brachiosaurid or the sister taxon to Titanosauriformes. Although Janenschia was recovered as a basal macronarian, outside Titanosauria, the sympatric Australodocus provides body fossil evidence for the pre-Cretaceous origin of titanosaurs. We recovered evidence for a sauropod with close affinities to the Chinese taxon Mamenchisaurus in the Late Jurassic Tendaguru beds of Africa, and present new information demonstrating the wider distribution of caudal pneumaticity within Titanosauria. The earliest known titanosauriform body fossils are from the late Oxfordian (Late Jurassic), although trackway evidence indicates a Middle Jurassic origin. Diversity increased throughout the Late Jurassic, and titanosauriforms did not undergo a severe extinction across the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, in contrast to diplodocids and non-neosauropods. Titanosauriform diversity increased in the Barremian and Aptian–Albian as a result of radiations of derived somphospondylans and lithostrotians, respectively, but there was a severe drop (up to 40%) in species numbers at, or near, the Albian/Cenomanian boundary, representing a faunal turnover whereby basal titanosauriforms were replaced by derived titanosaurs, although this transition occurred in a spatiotemporally staggered fashion.

Myers, T. S., Tabor N. J., Jacobs L. L., & Mateus O. (2012).  Estimating soil pCO2 using paleosol carbonates: implications for the relationship between primary productivity and faunal richness in ancient terrestrial ecosystems. Paleobiology. 38(4), 585–604. Abstractmyers_et_al_2012_estimating_soil_paleosols_portugal.pdf

In this paper we present a method for estimating soil pCO2 in ancient environments using the measured carbon-isotope values of pedogenic carbonates and plant-derived organic matter. The validity of soil pCO2 estimates proves to be highly dependent on the organic δ13C values used in the calculations. Organic matter should be sourced from the same paleosol profiles as sampled carbonates to yield the most reliable estimates of soil pCO2. In order to demonstrate the potential use of soil pCO2 estimates in paleoecological and paleoenvironmental studies, we compare samples from three Upper Jurassic localities. Soil pCO2 estimates, interpreted as a qualitative indicator of primary paleoproductivity, are used to rank the Late Jurassic terrestrial environments represented by the Morrison Formation in western North America, the informally named Lourinhã formation in Western Europe, and the Stanleyville Group in Central Africa. Because modern terrestrial environments show a positive correlation between primary productivity and faunal richness, a similar relationship is expected in ancient ecosystems. When the relative paleoproductivity levels inferred for each study area are compared with estimates of dinosaur generic richness, a positive correlation emerges. Both the Morrison and Lourinhã formations have high inferred productivity levels and high estimated faunal richness. In contrast, the Stanleyville Group appears to have had low primary productivity and low faunal richness. Paleoclimatic data available for each study area indicate that both productivity and faunal richness are positively linked to water availability, as observed in modern terrestrial ecosystems.

Mateus, O., Walen A., & Antunes M. T. (2006).  The large theropod fauna of the Lourinhã Formation (Portugal) and its similarity to the Morrison Formation, with a description of a new species of Allosaurus. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 36, 123-129. Abstractmateus_walen_antunes_-_2006_-_the_large_theropod_fauna_of_the_lourinha_formation__portugal__and_its_similarity_to_the_morrison_formation__with_a_description_of_a_new_species_of_allosaurus.pdf

Late Jurassic theropod dinosaurs have been known in Portugal since 1863 but only now are they being fully understood, with the recognition of genera such as Allosaurus, Aviatyrannis, Ceratosaurus, Lourinhanosaurus, and Torvosaurus from the Lourinhã and Alcobaça Formations (Kimmeridgian/Tithonian). Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus can now be reported from Portugal. It represents the only occurrence of this species outside the Morrison Formation.
New cranial elements confirm the presence of Torvosaurus tanneri, in Portugal. Torvosaurus was the largest Late Jurassic land carnivore. New postcranial and cranial elements allow the erection of a new species from Portugal, Allosaurus europaeus n.sp. The theropod assemblage of Portugal is similar to that of the Morrison Formation.

Mateus, O., Milàn J., Romano M., & Whyte M. A. (2011).  New finds of stegosaur tracks from the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 56(1), 651-658. Abstractmateus_et_al_2011_-_deltapodus_with_skin_impressions_from_portugal.pdf

Eleven new tracks from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal are described and attributed to the stegosaurian ichnogenus Deltapodus. One track exhibits exceptionally well−preserved impressions of skin on the plantar surface, showing the stegosaur foot to be covered by closely spaced skin tubercles of ca. 6 mm in size. The Deltapodus specimens from the Aalenian of England represent the oldest occurrence of stegosaurs and imply an earlier cladogenesis than is recognized in the body fossil record.

Mateus, O., Maidment S. C. R., & Christiansen N. A. (2008).  A new specimen aff. Dacentrurus armatus (Dinosauria: Stegosauridae) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Livro de Resumos de Tercer Congreso Latinoamericano de Paleontologia de Vertebrados. 157., Neuquén, Argentina Abstractmateus_et_al_2008_a_new_specimen_aff._dacentrurus_armatus_dinosauria_stegosauridae_from_the_late_jurassic_of_portugal.pdf

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Mateus, O., & Milan J. (2008).  Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal. Oryctos. 8, 47-52. Abstractmateus_and_milan_2008_ichnological_evidence_for_giant_ornithopod_big_ornithopod_track_from_u_j_lourinha_fm_portugal.pdfWebsite

The Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation (Lusitanian Basin, Portugal) contains a diverse dinosaur fauna comprising theropods, sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and several genera of ornithopods. The sedimentology in the area favours preservation of tracksways, and tracks from most of the dinosaurs are also represented by skeletal remains. During fieldwork in the summer of 2003 a new, large, tridactyl track was found at the beach of Vale Frades, approximately 6 km north of Lourinhã (central west Portugal). The track was found together with a stegosaur track on a clay bed exposed within the intertidal zone. Due to the immediate danger of erosion, the track was collected and is now on display at Museu da Lourinhã. The track is 70 cm long and 69 cm wide, the toes are short and broad, with indications of short blunt claws, and there is a high angle of divarication between the outer digits. The shape and dimensions of the track identifies it as deriving from an ornithopod dinosaur with an estimated hip height around three metres. Although very large ornithopods are known from the Cretaceous, the largest known Jurassic ornithopod is Camptosaurus from North America, and the largest known from Portugal is the camptosaurid Draconyx loureiroi. Neither of these reached the body size suggested by the new track. So far the track described herein is the only evidence for a Jurassic ornithopod of that size.