Publications in the Year: 2016

Book Chapter

Mateus, O.  2016.  Exemplos bizarros de evolução em dinossauros e alguns casos portugueses. Do Big Bang ao Homem. :81-95., Porto: U.Porto Ediçõesmateus_2016_capitulo_livro_dinosaurs.pdf

Conference Proceedings

Muchagata, J, Mateus O.  2016.  Sexual display and rostral variation in extinct beaked whale, Globicetus hiberus. XIV EAVP Meeting. :136., Haarlem, The Netherlands: XIV EAVP Meeting, Programme and Abstract Book Abstractmuchagata_et_al_2016_eavp_abstractbook_finalversionjjl_26062016-1.pdf

Iberian extinct ziphiid, Globicetus hiberus, bears a peculiar large bony sphere in the rostrum, the Mesorostral Process of the Premaxillae or MPP. The MPP varies in size and shape of growth in the six specimens studied and seems to have an allometrically growth in one subgroup, but not in the other, suggesting subgroups correspond to males and females (sexual dimorphism). Even more, some rostral structures, such as the medial pad of the premaxillae seem to be associated with the specimens with lower and leaner MPP’s and ossification of the mesorostral canal by the vomer can also be of value in differentiating sex. Beaked whales are deep-diving, echolocation-user odontocetes and able to perceive bones as distinctive echoic images with their sonar; therefore the MPP may work as a secondary sexual organ (“antlers inside” hypothesis by Gol´din, 2014), a mute display structure acting as an “acoustic flag” to be perceived through echolocation by other individuals, giving information about the shape and size of the MPP.

Polcyn, MJ, Bardet N, Amaghzaz M, Gonçalves OA, Jourani E, Kaddumi HF, Lindgren J, Mateus O, Meslouhf S, Morais ML, Pereda-Suberbiola X, Schulp AS, Vincent P, Jacobs LL.  2016.  An extremely derived plioplatecarpine mosasaur from the Maastrichtian of Africa and the Middle East. 5th Triennial Mosasaur Meeting- a global perspective on Mesozoic marine amniotes. 16-20(May 16-20, 2016):May16-20,2016., Uppsala, Sweden: Museum of Evolutiom, Uppsala University. Abstractpolcyn_et_al_2016_extremely_derived_mosasaur.pdf


Mateus, O.  2016.  Late Jurassic of Morrison Formation and Portugal tetrapods compared: a model to explain faunal exchange and similarity. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. :185., Salt Late City: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2016 Abstractmateus_2016_late_jurassic_morrison_svp_abstract.pdf

The precursor of the North Atlantic existed between the North American and Iberian blocks from the earliest Jurassic Hettangian and has been ever expanding since. By the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian, when much of the Morrison Fm rocks were deposited, the proto-Atlantic was more than 300 km wide at 27° paleolatitude between North America and Iberia. Macrovertebrate paleontology reveals a unique story to the isolation of Iberia and instead suggest a paleogeographic land connection between North American and Iberia. Torvosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Stegosaurus, Supersaurus and others have a distribution restricted to Morrison Formation in North America and Lourinhã Formation in Portugal. A novel paleogeographic model is here suggested: (1) around the Middle–Late Jurassic transition there is a major palaeoceanographic and palaeoclimatic reorganization, coincidental to a major eustatic sea-level drop and uplift associated with the Callovian– Oxfordian Atlantic Regressive Event; (2) creating an ephemeral land bridge presenting a temporary opportunity for terrestrial gateways likely across the Flemish Cap and Galician Bank land masses, allowing large dinosaurian taxa to cross the northern proto-Atlantic in both directions; (3) finally, a Callovian–Oxfordian faunal exchange around the 163 Ma, through latest Kimmeridgian at 152 Ma (the age of equivalent genera in both Morrison and Portugal), is was an interval that allowed speciation, but retaining generic similarity of vertebrates. This model is consistent with the chronology and taxonomy required for speciation of the Iberian and American forms, exemplified by the coeval sister-taxa pairs Torvosaurus tanneri and T. gurneyi, Allosaurus fragilis and A. europaeus, or Supersaurus vivianae and S. lourinhanensis. While some of the smaller animals in the fauna show Morrison/Portugal affinities, most from Iberia have European or even Asian affinities. The larger-bodied fauna are more closely related to Morrison than to mainland Europe (except for dacentrurine stegosaurs). The body size differences and affinities of taxa across paleogeography is comparable to what is observed today across the Wallace Line. Migration may have also occurred in both directions. The closest relative of Torvosaurus is likely the European Bathonian Megalosaurus, thus the presence of the genus in North America represents a European migration. On other hand, Allosaurus and Supersaurus origins are consistent with a North American origin, representing an westto-east migration.

Moreno-Azanza, M, Gasca JM, Canudo JI, Lázaro BB, Mateus O.  2016.  The evolution of the ornithischian eggshell: State of the art and perspectives. Abstracts with Programs, the 2016 Annual Meeting, the Palaeontological Society of Japan. :6., Fukui, Japanmoreno_azanza_et_al_2016_the_evolution_of_the_ornithischian_eggshell.pdf
Milàn, J, Mateus O, Marzola M, Clemmensen LB.  2016.  Plesiosaur remains from the Lower Jurassic part of the Kap Steward Formation, Jameson Land, East Greenland – evidence of the earliest marine incursion. 60th Annual Meeting Palaeontological Association. :91-92., Lyon, France: Palaeontological Associationmilan_et_al_2016__-_kap_stewart_fm_plesiosaur_-_palass_2016.pdf
Myers, TS, Mateus O, Polcyn MJ, Vineyard D, Jacobs LL.  2016.  A new chelonioid turtle from the Paleocene of Cabinda, Angola. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. :194.: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2016 Abstractmyers_etal_2016_chelonoid_angola_turtle_svp_abstract.pdf

We report a new chelonioid turtle on the basis of a nearly complete skull collected in lower Paleocene, shallow marine deposits, equivalent to the offshore Landana Formation, near the town of Landana in Cabinda Province, Angola. Chelonioid material previously reported from this locality is likely referable to this new taxon. The well-preserved skull is missing the left quadrate, squamosal, and prootic, both opisthotics, and the mandible. The skull possesses a rod-like basisphenoid rostrum, which is a synapomorphy of Chelonioidea, but it differs from other chelonioid skulls in that the contact between the parietal and squamosal is absent, and the posterior palatine foramen is present. Phylogenetic analysis recovers the new taxon as a basal chelonioid. The Paleocene– Eocene strata near Landana have produced a wealth of turtle fossils, including the holotype of the pleurodire Taphrosphys congolensis. A turtle humerus collected from the Landana locality differs morphologically from the humeri of chelonioids and Taphrosphys, indicating the presence of a third taxon. Chelonioid fossil material in the Landana assemblage is rare compared to the abundant fragmentary remains of Taphrosphys that are found throughout the stratigraphic section. This disparity in abundance suggests the new chelonioid taxon preferred open marine habitats, whereas Taphrosphys frequented nearshore environments.

Marzola, M, Mateus O, Wings O, Klein N, Mìlan J, L.B.Clemmensen.  2016.  The herpetofauna from the Late Triassic of the Jameson Land Basin (East Greenland): review and updates. XIV EAVP Meeting. :182., Haarlem, The Netherlands: XIV EAVP Meeting, Programme and Abstract Book
Waskow, K, Mateus O.  2016.  What is your age? Dorsal rib histology as tool for individual age determination and analysis of life history traits in dinosaurs and other vertebrates Annual Meeting of the Paleontological Society of Germany (PalGes). :87.

Journal Article

Leal, AA, Dionísio A, Braga MAS, Mateus O.  2016.  The long term preservation of Late Jurassic sandstone dinosaur footprints in a museum environment. International Journal of Conservation Science. 7(3):627-646. AbstractWebsite

This study focuses on the assessment of the degradation processes occurring in three sandstone infills of fossilized Late Jurassic ornithopod tridactyl footprints, found in 2001 in a coastline cliff in Porto das Barcas (Lourinhã, Portugal) and exhibited in a museum display since 2004. These dinosaur footprints present nowadays severe decay phenomena compromising their physical integrity and are leading gradually to their loss of value. The deterioration patterns were recorded, a map of their distribution was prepared and several samples were collected both in the dinosaur footprints and in the coastline cliff. Different analytical procedures were applied such as XRD, FTIR, FESEM and Ion Chromatography. A microclimatic survey was also performed and air temperature and relative humidity was measured during eight months both indoor and also outdoor. The decay patterns observed are a combination intrinsic and extrinsic factors the stone material, namely swelling of clay minerals in the rock matrix (smectite and chlorite-smectite mixed-layer), presence of salts (mainly chlorides), application of past conservation treatments (poly(vinyl) acetate and epoxy resins) and with the museum's indoor thermohygrometric conditions (mainly non-stable hygrometric conditions). This scientific knowledge is therefore essential to the sustainable preservation of this paleontological heritage.

Tschopp, E, Mateus O.  2016.  Diplodocus Marsh, 1878 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda): proposed designation of D. carnegii Hatcher, 1901 as the type species. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 73(1):17-24. Abstracttschopp_mateus_2016_-_case_3700_-_diplodocus_type.pdf

The purpose of this application, under Articles 78.1 and 81.1 of the Code, is to replace Diplodocus longus Marsh, 1878 as the type species of the sauropod dinosaur genus Diplodocus by the much better represented D. carnegii Hatcher, 1901, due to the undiagnosable state of the holotype of D. longus (YPM 1920, a partial tail and a chevron). The holotype of D. carnegii, CM 84, is a well-preserved and mostly articulated specimen. Casts of it are on display in various museums around the world, and the species has generally been used as the main reference for studies of comparative anatomy or phylogeny of the genus. Both species are known from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of the western United States. The genus Diplodocus is the basis for the family-level taxa diplodocinae Marsh, 1884, diplodocidae Marsh, 1884, diplodocimorpha Marsh, 1884 (Calvo & Salgado, 1995) and diplodocoidea Marsh, 1884 (Upchurch, 1995). It is also a specifier of at least 10 phylogenetic clades. With the replacement of D. longus by D. carnegii as type species, Diplodocus could be preserved as a taxonomic name with generally accepted content. Taxonomic stability of the entire clade diplodocoidea, and the proposed definitions of several clades within Sauropoda, could be maintained.

Ceríaco, LMP, Gutiérrez EE, Dubois A, Abdala CS, Alqarni AS, Adler K, Adriano EA, Aescht E, Agarwal I, Agatha S et al..  2016.  Photography-based taxonomy is inadequate, unnecessary, and potentially harmful for biological sciences, 2016. Zootaxa. 4196(3):435-445. AbstractWebsite
Hansen, BB, Milàn J, Clemmensen LB, Adolfssen JS, Estrup EJ, Klein N, Mateus O, Wings O.  2016.  Coprolites from the Late Triassic Kap Stewart Formation, Jameson Land, East Greenland: morphology, classification and prey inclusions. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 434(1):49-69. Abstracthansen_et_al_2015_coprolites_from_the_late_triassic_kap_stewart_formation_jameson_land_east_greenland.pdfWebsite

A large collection of vertebrate coprolites from black lacustrine shales in the Late Triassic (Rhaetian–Sinemurian) Kap Stewart Formation, East Greenland is examined with regard to internal and external morphology, prey inclusions, and possible relationships to the contemporary vertebrate fauna. A number of the coprolites were mineralogically examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), showing the primary mineral composition to be apatite, clay minerals, carbonates and, occasionally, quartz in the form of secondary mineral grains. The coprolite assemblage shows multiple sizes and morphotypes of coprolites, and different types of prey inclusions, demonstrating that the coprolite assemblage originates from a variety of different producers.Supplementary material: A description of the size, shape, structure, texture, contents and preservation of the 328 specimens is available at

Klein, H, Milàn J, Clemmensen LB, Frobøse N, Mateus O, Klein N, Adolfssen JS, Estrup EJ, Wings O.  2016.  Archosaur footprints (cf. Brachychirotherium) with unusual morphology from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian–Rhaetian) of East Greenland. Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 434(1):71-85. Abstractklein_et_al_2015_archosaur_footprints_cf._brachychirotherium_with_unusual.pdfWebsite

The Ørsted Dal Member of the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation in East Greenland is well known for its rich vertebrate fauna, represented by numerous specimens of both body and ichnofossils. In particular, the footprints of theropod dinosaurs have been described. Recently, an international expedition discovered several slabs with 100 small chirotheriid pes and manus imprints (pes length 4–4.5 cm) in siliciclastic deposits of this unit. They show strong similarities with Brachychirotherium, a characteristic Upper Triassic ichnogenus with a global distribution. A peculiar feature in the Fleming Fjord specimens is the lack of a fifth digit, even in more deeply impressed imprints. Therefore, the specimens are assigned here tentatively to cf. Brachychirotherium. Possibly, this characteristic is related to the extremely small size and early ontogenetic stage of the trackmaker. The record from Greenland is the first evidence of this morphotype from the Fleming Fjord Formation. Candidate trackmakers are crocodylian stem group archosaurs; however, a distinct correlation with known osteological taxa from this unit is not currently possible. While the occurrence of sauropodomorph plateosaurs in the bone record links the Greenland assemblage more closer to that from the Germanic Basin of central Europe, here the described footprints suggest a Pangaea-wide exchange.Supplementary material: Three-dimensional model of cf. Brachychirotherium pes–manus set (from MGUH 31233b) from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation (Norian–Rhaetian) of East Greenland as pdf, ply and jpg files (3D model created by Oliver Wings; photographs taken by Jesper Milàn) is available at

Hendrickx, C, Mateus O, Buffetaut E.  2016.  Morphofunctional Analysis of the Quadrate of Spinosauridae (Dinosauria: Theropoda) and the Presence of Spinosaurus and a Second Spinosaurine Taxon in the Cenomanian of North Africa., 01. PLoS ONE. 11:e0144695., Number 1: Public Library of Science Abstracthendrickx_et_al_2016_morphofunctional_analysis_of_the_quadrate_of_spinosauridae_dinosauria.pdfWebsite

Six quadrate bones, of which two almost certainly come from the Kem Kem beds (Cenomanian, Upper Cretaceous) of south-eastern Morocco, are determined to be from juvenile and adult individuals of Spinosaurinae based on phylogenetic, geometric morphometric, and phylogenetic morphometric analyses. Their morphology indicates two morphotypes evidencing the presence of two spinosaurine taxa ascribed to Spinosaurus aegyptiacus and? Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis in the Cenomanian of North Africa, casting doubt on the accuracy of some recent skeletal reconstructions which may be based on elements from several distinct species. Morphofunctional analysis of the mandibular articulation of the quadrate has shown that the jaw mechanics was peculiar in Spinosauridae. In mature spinosaurids, the posterior parts of the two mandibular rami displaced laterally when the jaw was depressed due to a lateromedially oriented intercondylar sulcus of the quadrate. Such lateral movement of the mandibular ramus was possible due to a movable mandibular symphysis in spinosaurids, allowing the pharynx to be widened. Similar jaw mechanics also occur in some pterosaurs and living pelecanids which are both adapted to capture and swallow large prey items. Spinosauridae, which were engaged, at least partially, in a piscivorous lifestyle, were able to consume large fish and may have occasionally fed on other prey such as pterosaurs and juvenile dinosaurs.