Publications in the Year: 2010

Book Chapter

Mateus, O.  2010.  Paleontological collections of the Museum of Lourinhã (Portugal), Jan. Colecções e museus de Geologia: missão e gestão. (Brandao, JM, Callapez, PM, O. Mateus, Castro, P, Eds.).:121-126.: Ed. Universidade de Coimbra e Centro de Estudos e Filosofia da História da Ciência Coimbra Abstractmateus_2010_paleontological_collections_of_the_museum_of_lourinha__geocoleccoes_omateus.pdf

Abstract: The paleontological collections of the Museum of Lourinhã, in Portugal, has a rich paleontological collection, particularly of Late Jurassic dinosaurs of the Lourinhã Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian). Most salient highlights comprehend the following dinosaur holotype specimens: stegosaur Miragaia longicollum, theropod Lourinhanosaurus antunesi, sauropod Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis, ornithopod Draconyx loureiroi, theropod Allosaurus europaeus, and, a mammal, Kuehneodon hahni. Other dinosaur specimens are referred including the nest and eggs and embryos of Lourinhanosaurus. Portugal is very productive in Late Jurassic vertebrates, being the seventh country bearing more dinosaur taxa.

Conference Paper

Jacobs, LL, Polcyn MJ, Mateus O, Schulp A, Ferguson K, Scotese C, Jacobs BF, Strganac C, Vineyard D, Myers TS, Morais ML.  2010.  Tectonic Drift, Climate, and Paleoenvironment of Angola Since the Cretaceous, Jan. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 1:. :02. Abstractjacobs_polcyn_mateus_et_al_2010_tectonic_drift_climate_and_paleoenvironment_of_angola_since_the_cretaceous.pdf

Africa is the only continent that now straddles arid zones located beneath the descending limbs of both the northern and southern Hadley cells, and it has done so since it became a distinct continent in the Early Cretaceous. Since that time, Africa has drifted tectonically some 12 degrees north and rotated approximately 45 degrees counterclockwise. This changing latitudinal setting and position of the landmass under the relatively stable Hadley Cells is manifested as southward migration of climatic zones over the past 132 million years. Data from kerogen, X-ray diffraction analysis of sedimentary matrix, carbon isotopes from shell samples and tooth enamel,new 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dates, pollen and plant macrofossils, and fossil vertebrates indicate a productive upwelling system adjacent to a coastal desert since the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean; however, the position of the coastal desert has migrated southward as Africa drifted north, resulting in today's Skeleton Coast and Benguela Current. This migration has had a profound effect on the placement of the West African coast relative to areas of high marine productivity and resulting extensive hydrocarbon deposits, on the placement of arid zones relative to the continent especially the Skeleton Coast desert, on the climatic history of the Congo Basin (which shows a Late Cretaceous decrease in aridity based on the relative abundance of analcime in the Samba core), and in reducing the southern temperate region of Africa from 17% of continental area during the Cretaceous to 2% today. We show here that these related geographic and environmental changes drove ecological and evolutionary adjustments in southern African floras and faunas, specifically with respect to the distribution of anthropoid primates, the occurrence of modern relicts such as the gnetalean Welwitschia mirabilis, endemism as in the case of ice plants, and mammalian adaption to an open environment as in springhares. Africa's tectonic drift through climate zones has been a first-order environmental determinant since the Early Cretaceous.

Araújo, R, Jacobs L, Polcyn M, Mateus O, Schulp A.  2010.  Plesiosaurs from the Maastrichtian of Bentiaba, Namibe Province, Angola. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 70th Annual Meeting.. Abstractaraujo_polcyn_mateus__schulp_2010_plesiosaurs_from_maastrichtian_of_angola_svp10abstracts.pdf

Recent excavations at the Maastrichtian locality of Bentiaba, Namibe Province, in the southern part of Angola, have yielded high quality and partially articulated plesiosaur specimens that indicate at least three taxa were present. A new elasmosaurid is the most abundant and well-preserved plesiosaur taxon at Bentiaba. It is known from a complete articulated paddle and other elements of the skeleton, many of which remain to be collected. The most diagnostic elements so far recovered are the complete pelvic and pectoral girdles, which indicate that the Bentiaba elasmosaurid is probably a new genus because it bears an asymmetrical ventral process of the coracoids, a complete cordiform posterior coracoid vacuity, and pronounced excavation of the anterior border of the coracoids, among other characters. A polycotylid is [...]

Smith, A, Araújo R, Mateus O.  2010.  A plesiosauroid skull from the Toarcian (Lower Jurassic) of Alhadas, Portugal, October 10 - 13t. 70th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. :166A., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Abstractsmith_araujo__mateus_2010_plesiosauroid_skull_toarcian_jurassic_alhadas_portugal_svp10abstracts.pdf


Conference Proceedings

Jacobs, L, Polcyn M, Araújo R, Strganac C, Mateus O.  2010.  Physical drivers of evolution and the history of the marine tetrapod fauna of Angola, Jan. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. :110A. Abstractjacobs_et_al_mateus_2010_physical_drivers_marine_tetrapod_fauna_of_angola_svp10abstracts.pdf


Journal Article

Mateus, O, Milan J.  2010.  First records of crocodyle and pterosaur tracks in the Upper Jurassic of Portugal., Jan. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 51:83-87. Abstractmateus_and_milan_2010_portugal_first_records_of_crocodyle_and_pterosaur_tracks_in_the_upper_jurassic_of_portugal.pdfWebsite

The Upper Jurassic of Portugal has a rich vertebrate fauna well documented from both body and trace fossils. Although the occurrence of crocodyles and pterosaurs is well documented from body fossils, trace fossils from both groups were unknown until now. Here we describe an isolated crocodyle-like track from Praia da Peralta and pterosaur tracks from the Kimmeridgian of Pedreira do Avelino, Sesimbra (Azóia Fm.) and Porto das Barcas, Lourinhã (Lourinhã Fm.). An enigmatic track suggests the possible presence of a small, tail-dragging tetrapod.
Possible track-makers are suggested based on the known Late Jurassic vertebrate fauna of Portugal.

Mateus, O, Milan J.  2010.  A diverse Upper Jurassic dinosaur ichnofauna from central-west Portugal, Jan. Lethaia. 43:245–257. Abstractmateus__milan_2010_-_diverse_l_j_ichnofauna_from_lourinha_fm_portugal.pdfWebsite

A newly discovered dinosaur track-assemblage from the Upper Jurassic Lourinha˜ Formation (Lusitanian Basin, central-west Portugal), comprises medium- to large-sized sauropod tracks with well-preserved impressions of soft tissue anatomy, stegosaur tracks and tracks from medium- to large-sized theropods. The 400-m-thick Lourinha˜ Formation consists of mostly aluvial sediments, deposited during the early rifting of the Atlantic Ocean in the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian. The stratigraphic succession shows several shifts between flood-plain mud and fluvial sands that favour preservation and fossilization of tracks. The studied track-assemblage is found preserved as natural casts on the underside of a thin bivalve-rich carbonate bed near the Tithonian–Kimmeridgian boundary. The diversity of the tracks from the new track assemblage is compared with similar faunas from the Upper Jurassic of Asturias, Spain and the Middle Jurassic Yorkshire Coast of England. The Portuguese record of Upper Jurassic dinosaur body fossils show close similarity to the track fauna from the Lourinha˜ Formation.

Mateus, O, Dyke G, Motchurova-Dekova N, Ivanov P, Kamenov GD.  2010.  The first record of a dinosaur from Bulgaria, Jan. Lethaia. 43:88-94. Abstractmateus_et_al__2010_the_first_record_of_a_dinosaur_in_bulgaria._lethaia.pdfWebsite

A portion of a left humerus from the Upper Maastrichtian of Vratsa district (NW Bulgaria)
is shown to be from a non-avian theropod dinosaur: this is the first record of a
dinosaur from Bulgaria. We describe this bone, suggest that it most likely pertains to an
ornithomimosaur, and discuss the fossil record of other similar taxa of Late Cretaceous
age that have been reported from Europe. To investigate the taphonomy of this fossil,
rare earth element (REE) analysis is combined with strontium (Sr) isotope data to confirm
that this Bulgarian dinosaur bone was initially fossilized in a terrestrial environment,
then later re-worked into late Maastrichtian marine sediments.


Brandao, JM, Callapez PM, Mateus O, Castro P.  2010.  Colecções e museus de Geologia: missão e gestão, Jan. : Ed. Universidade de Coimbra e Centro de Estudos e Filosofia da História da Ciência. Abstract