Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp

Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain

Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp

Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
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Selles A.G.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Vila B.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Vila B.,University of Zaragoza | Galobart T.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2014

The scarcity of diagnostic skeletal elements in the latest Cretaceous theropod record of the Ibero-Armorican domain (southwestern Europe) prevents to perform accurate phylogenetic, paleobiogeographic, and diversity studies. In contrast, eggs and eggshells of theropod dinosaurs are relatively abundant and well known in this region from which several ootaxa have been described. Here, we describe the first Late Maastrichtian theropod ootaxon (Prismatoolithus trempii oosp. nov.) from SW Europe and demonstrate that oological record can be used as a proxy for assessing diversity of egg-producers and may help to complement their scarce bone record. The performed analyses indicate that the theropod taxa and ootaxa reach their diversity maxima during the Late Campanian and start to decrease near the Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary at both global and regional scales. The oological diversity of theropods in the Ibero-Armorican domain is consistent with the theropod diversity identified at high taxonomic level. Two distinct assemblages of theropod ootaxa can be recognized in the latest Cretaceous of the Ibero-Armorican domain. Their temporal transition can be correlated with other dinosaur faunal changes recorded in the region. This faunal turnover took place around the Early-Late Maastrichtian boundary, involving ornithopods, sauropods, ankylosaurs and, according to the present results, theropods as well. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Van Dam J.A.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Fortuny J.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | van Ruijven L.J.,Academisch Centrum Tandheelkunde Amsterdam ACTA
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2011

Both hypsodonty and proportion of enamel are important measures for reconstructing diets and environments of fossil mammals. Classically, the first is calculated using crude dimensions and the second using specific cross-sections. With the increased availability of three-dimensional imaging techniques such as (micro)CT scanning, an upgrade towards new indices using actual 3D volumes is highly appropriate. Here we present examples from fossil small mammals to illustrate a straightforward and objective protocol to calculate new volume-based indices. Both hypsodonty and enamel proportion are defined in a consistent way with regard to orientation, and both are robust against damage or loss of dentine.Whereas hypsodonty values in the studied rodents are reduced by more than one third with regard to the older methods, they are lowered by more than a factor two in taxa with a very strong dental relief, such as insectivores. Thus, relative positions of taxa on the continuum between animal and plant consumers change, by using actual dental volume and mean height instead of maximum height. Although enamel proportion and hypsodonty are expected to be positively correlated across rodents in general, the two parameters may easily get decoupled, for instance when thick enamel is needed to break down hard but high-nutrition food items such as seeds or nuts, or when thin enamel blades are needed to cut low-nutrition items, such as grass leaves. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Dalla Vecchia F.M.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Cau A.,University of Bologna
Historical Biology | Year: 2015

Two small bones from the Upper Triassic of Cromhall Quarry (Gloucestershire, England), which are referred in the literature to pterosaurian wing metacarpals, are compared with wing metacarpals of unequivocal pterosaur specimens from the Upper Triassic of Italy and Greenland as well as those of the Liassic Dimorphodon macronyx from England. The two are morphologically distinct from the unequivocal wing metacarpals. Comparison with the phalanges of drepanosauromorphs suggests that they are probably penultimate phalanges of those bizarre diapsids. Drepanosauromorphs are now known from Cromhall Quarry, but they were not in 1990 when the two presumed wing metacarpals were described. There is no definitive evidence of the presence of pterosaurs in the Triassic of the UK. © 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

van Dam J.A.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp
Evolutionary Ecology | Year: 2012

The amount and quality of paleontological data is rapidly increasing thanks to the new developments in geological dating, 3D visualization and morphometrics, chemical and histological analysis, and database storage. However, despite the fact that data from fossils, their assemblages, temporal successions, spatial gradients and environments are of an evolutionary-ecological nature, their contribution to current mainstream evolutionary-ecological theory and methodology is low. The use of fossils is not seldom restricted to calibration (e. g., in phylogenetics), or source for historical speculation after having analyzed modern data first (e. g., in macroecology). Yet, the scale of resolution of many paleontological time series (10 3-10 5 years) is highly apt for studying the dynamics of species, the average lifetime of which is in the order of 10 6-10 7 years. In order to fully profit from the wealth of data from the rock archive, a large-scale "stratophenomics" approach is needed. The resulting data archives will not only further contribute to an increase in the knowledge of past species, communities and environments, but will also generate more and innovative theory on the mechanisms underlying species and higher taxon dynamics. Examples of new and promising approaches towards generating paleontological data will be presented under the headings of the three major stratophenomics dimensions: time, morphology and environment. Highlighted fields include astrochronology, sclerochronology and 3D morphometrics. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Dalla Vecchia F.M.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2013

Pterosaurs are a clade of highly specialized, volant archosauromorphs recorded from the Upper Triassic to the uppermost Cretaceous. Problematic remains referred to the Pterosauria are reported from the Triassic of Europe and both North and South America, but unequivocal pterosaur specimens are only known from the Alps (Italy, Austria and Switzerland: Preondactylus buffarinii, Austriadactylus cristatus, Peteinosaurus zambellii, Eudimorphodon ranzii, Carniadactylus rosenfeldi, Caviramus schesaplanensis and Raeticodactylus filisurensis) and Greenland ('Eudimorphodon' cromptonellus). Pterosaurs are diagnosed mostly by features associated with the advent of powered flight. They are generally considered to be archosaurians more closely related to dinosaurs than to crocodilians, but non-archosaurian positions have also been proposed. There is a lack of general agreement about ingroup relationships, particularly among the basal pterosaurs. Triassic pterosaurs differ from other non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs in features of the dentition and caudal vertebral column. A 'Big Bang' model for their early history fits better with the fossil record: the earliest unequivocal pterosaurs show a sudden and geographically limited appearance in the fossil record, as well as a relatively high burst of diversity and considerable morphologic disparity. Absence of pterosaur remains from deposits where they are expected to be found suggests that they had not yet evolved in pre-Norian times. © The Geological Society of London 2013.

van Dam J.A.,University Utrecht | van Dam J.A.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Utescher T.,University of Bonn | Utescher T.,Senckenberg Institute
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2016

Both plant and vertebrate communities have been used to reconstruct paleoprecipitation. However, direct stratigraphic comparisons between the two types of proxies have hardly been performed, which is due to the fact that plant and vertebrate fossils usually do not occur together in single geological beds. Here, we focus on a series of 18 sites from the Neogene of Europe and Anatolia that contain both types of fossils, and compare paleoprecipitation predictions produced by the Coexistence Approach (plants) and the Climate-Diversity approach (micromammals). Most of the sites have overlapping uncertainty intervals for mean annual precipitation as generated by the two methods, pointing to a common precipitation-related signal in flora and fauna. Nevertheless, a systematic difference appears to characterize drier sites, for which micromammal richness-based estimates for annual precipitation tend to be lower than plant-based coexistence-based estimates. Driest-month precipitations are in agreement for drier sites, but strongly differ for wetter sites, with micromammal richness-based estimates being higher. Overlap is poor for estimates of wettest-month precipitation, which are higher when based on plant-based coexistence. Possible sources for a bias towards higher annual values in plants are related to the inclusion of local, wetland elements in the analysis and/or to a lower taxonomic resolution for pollen and spores compared to macroflora. Micromammal-based annual estimates could be biased towards drier values, when smaller samples lack rare species that could be preferentially wet-adapted. Several of the higher driest- and lower wettest-month micromammal-based estimates could result from over-extrapolation beyond the calibration domain for arboreality as currently existing in the modern Western Old World. On the other hand, the use of several SE Asian reference taxa could add a high-precipitation (monsoonal) component to the plant-based predictions. In addition, wettest-month estimates for both plants and micromammals probably suffer from the poor performance of water excess as a limiting factor. An attempt to further increase the predictive power of the micromammal-based prediction equations was performed by incorporating non-linear terms, and by using an extended calibration set including selected plant-based precipitation estimates for micromammal assemblages without modern analogue in the Western Old World ("proxy inter-calibration"). © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Saller F.,University of Bologna | Renesto S.,Applicate | Dalla Vecchia F.M.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp
Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie - Abhandlungen | Year: 2013

A new specimen of the small protorosaurian reptile Langobardisaurus pandolfii is described. It was collected from the Seefeld Formation, of Late Triassic (Norian) age, in the Innsbruck area (Austria) and represents the first occurrence of Langobardisaurus outside Italy. Although preserved mostly as an impression, the find is significant because it extends the palaeogeographic range of the genus and it is the second specimen known to date with the skull fully exposed. The preserved portions of the limb elements show that the bones are hollow, with a layer of compacta and without any trace of spongiosa. Reappraisal of all the specimens assigned to the genus Langobardisaurus reveals no significant differences between L. pandolfii and L. tonelloi, allowing to consider the latter as a junior synonym of the former. ©2013 E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart, Germany.

Orlandi-Oliveras G.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Jordana X.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Moncunill-Sole B.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Kohler M.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp | Kohler M.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2016

Insular gigantism is frequent in fossil and extant micromammals. It is widely assumed to result from increased food availability through expanded dietary niches under decreased interspecific competition. We compared the bone histology of the fossil giant dormouse Hypnomys onycensis (Gliridae) from the Balearic Islands with that of its closest living relative, Eliomys quercinus. Both display the same bone tissue types at similar ontogenetic stages, indicating comparable growth rates. Skeletochronological analysis shows that Hypnomys had an exceptionally long lifespan. Gigantism in insular Hypnomys hence results from a shift in life history toward the slow end of the slow-fast continuum. © 2015 Académie des sciences.

Prieto J.,Senckenberg Institute | Prieto J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | van Dam J.A.,University Utrecht | van Dam J.A.,Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp
Geobios | Year: 2012

The origin of the peculiar and highly specialized shrew tribe Anourosoricini is poorly known. The oldest known genera, Crusafontina Gibert and Darocasorex van Dam, first occur in Europe and North America around the Middle-Late Miocene transition (12-11 Ma), with the extremely rare cf. Crusafontina sp. from Anwil (Switzerland) extending the age of the oldest fossils back to at least 13 Ma. Here, new material of the oldest named Crusafontina species, C. exculta (Mayr and Fahlbusch), is described from the German localities Hammerschmiede (layers 1 and 3) and Hillenloh. The primitive nature of this species is confirmed. Apart from the unnamed specimens from Anwil, it is considered to be the oldest representative of a lineage leading to C. endemica Gibert and C. kormosi (Bachmayer and Wilson). Furthermore, the status of the extinct Allosoricinae Fejfar as a separate subfamily is well accepted, but opinions differ whether Paenelimnoecus Baudelot and/or "Allosorex" gracilidens (Viret and Zapfe) should be included in this subfamily. Here we propose to include only the latter form, after describing dental material from the locality of Giggenhausen. We assign three isolated M1-2 to this species, which we regard as the oldest known upper molars of Allosoricinae sensu Repenning. Anourosoricini and Allosoricinae show parallel and coeval evolution towards carnivore-like adaptation in their dentition, including the development of carnassial teeth and the reduction of third molars. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS.

PubMed | Institute Catala Of Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont Icp and Centro Fermi
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

A small accumulation of bones from the Norian (Upper Triassic) of the Seazza Brook Valley (Carnic Prealps, Northern Italy) was originally (1989) identified as a gastric pellet made of pterosaur skeletal elements. The specimen has been reported in literature as one of the very few cases of gastric ejecta containing pterosaur bones since then. However, the detailed analysis of the bones preserved in the pellet, their study by X-ray microCT, and the comparison with those of basal pterosaurs do not support a referral to the Pterosauria. Comparison with the osteology of a large sample of Middle-Late Triassic reptiles shows some affinity with the protorosaurians, mainly with Langobardisaurus pandolfii that was found in the same formation as the pellet. However, differences with this species suggest that the bones belong to a similar but distinct taxon. The interpretation as a gastric pellet is confirmed.

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