Publications in the Year: 2005

Conference Paper

Mateus, O, Milan J.  2005.  Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal.. Abstract Book of the International Symposium on Dinosaurs and Other Vertebrates Palaeoichnology. :60., Fumanya, Barcelona Abstractmateus__milan_2005_footprint.pdf

The Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation contains a diverse dinosaur fauna comprising theropods, sauropods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs and several genera of ornithopods.
The sedimentology in the area favours preservation of footprints, and footprints from most of the dinosaurs represented by skeletal remains are present in the area. During fieldwork in the summer of 2003 a new, large, tridactyl footprint was found at the beach of Vale Frades, approximately 6 km north of Lourinhã, Portugal. The footprint was found together with a stegosaur footprint on a clay bed exposed within the tidal zone. The footprints were preserved as sandstone casts standing on a pedestal of clay. This unusual type of preservation is the result of the footprints having first been emplaced in clay, and then filled with sand. During the present day erosion from the sea, the harder sandstone cast of the footprints protects the subjacent clay layers from erosion. Owing to the immediate danger of erosion of, the footprint was collected and is now on display at Museu da Lourinhã (ML 1000). The footprint is 70 cm long and 69 cm wide, the toes are short and broad, with indications of short blunt claws. The

divarication angle between the outer digits is close to 90 degrees. The dimensions and general

morphology of the footprint identifies it as deriving from an ornithopod dinosaur with an estimated hip height of 4.13 metres. Although very large ornithopods are known from the Cretaceous, the largest known Jurassic ornithopod is Camptosaurus from USA, and the largest known from Portugal is the camptosaurid Draconyx loureiroi. Neither of these reached the body size suggested by the new footprint. So far the footprint described herein is s the only evidence for a Jurassic ornithopod of that size.

Journal Article

Milan, J, Mateus O.  2005.  Jagten på Europas største dinosaur.. Naturens Verden. 88(10):2-13.. AbstractWebsite

[In danish. Title translation: The hunt for the biggest dinosaur in Europe]

Milan, J, Christiansen P, Mateus O.  2005.  A three-dimensionally preserved sauropod manus impression from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal: Implications for sauropod manus shape and locomotor mechanics. Kaupia. 14:47-52. Abstractmilan_et_al_mateus_2005_-_3d_sauropod_manus_track_l_j_portugal.pdfWebsite

Sauropods were the largest animals ever to walk the earth, and evolved several specializations in their limbs in order to support their body mass. Their legs became columnar and their manual digits became reduced and encapsulated in tissue to form a single weight-bearing unit in the derived sauropods. A new three-dimensionally preserved cast of a sauropod manus, found in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal, demonstrates not only the shape, but also the actual movements of the sauropod manus during the stride. The manus cast is 32 cm deep, and show the manus to be hoof-shaped and lacking any impressions of individual digits, except for digit I, the pollex. Well preserved striations from skin on the sides of the cast show that the manus was covered in rough, tubercular skin. The width of the manus cast is consistent from top to bottom, demonstrating that the manus was brought down and lifted vertically before any parasaggital movement of the upper limb took place.


Mateus, O.  2005.  Dinossauros do Jurássico Superior de Portugal, com destaque para os saurísquios. Universidade Nova de Lisboa. , Lisboa