First Triassic tetrapod (Eusauropterygia) in the Triassic of the Subbetic domain of the Betic Cordillera (Southeastern Spain)

Abstract

Sauropterygian vertebrate remains from the Ladinian (Middle Triassic) of the proximity of Calasparra (Murcia, Spain) are described here. They represent the first documented Triassic vertebrate remains found in the Province of Murcia, and the first in the Subbetic domain of the Betic Cordillera (Southeastern Spain). These new remains consist of incomplete vertebrae, some fragmented neural spine apophyses, fragments of transverse processes, a partial thoracic vertebrae mould and one isolated thoracic vertebral centrum, seemingly of a single specimen. Their features permit to refer them to the suborder Eusauropterygia. These fossils have been found in the middle part of the upper member of the Cehegín Formation. The biostratigraphical framework of the Cehegín Formation consists of a relatively abundant fossil content that allowed its attribution to the uppermost Fassanian (Lower Ladinian). The sedimentary features and the palaeontological content of the site are typical of an epicontinental platform.

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Fig. 1

Modified from Pérez-López and Pérez-Valera (2012)

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Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Dr. Fernando Barroso-Barcenilla from the Universidad de Alcalá (Spain) for his help and support. To Dr. Francis Hirsch (Naruto University of Education, Japan) for reviewing the English of the text. We gratefully acknowledge the comments from Dr. Silvio Renesto Claudio from the Università Degli Studi Dell’Insubria (Italy) and the PalZ editors (Mike Reich and Hans-Dieter Sues) that have helped to improve the manuscript. To the Research Project CGL2015-66604 from the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Economy and Competiveness Ministry).

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Correspondence to Mélani Berrocal-Casero.

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Pérez-Valera, J.A., Berrocal-Casero, M. & Pérez-Valera, F. First Triassic tetrapod (Eusauropterygia) in the Triassic of the Subbetic domain of the Betic Cordillera (Southeastern Spain). PalZ 94, 343–352 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-019-00500-y

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Keywords

  • Sauropterygia
  • Eusauropterygia
  • Cehegín Formation
  • Ladinian
  • Betic Cordillera