Portellsaurus sosbaynati: New Dinosaur Species Identified in Spain

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

An artist’s impression of Portellsaurus sosbaynati. Image credit: Santos-Cubedo et al., doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253599.

A new genus and species of styracosternan hadrosaurid dinosaur has been identified from a fossilized jawbone found in the Spanish province of Castellón.

The newly-identified dinosaur species roamed Earth between 130 and 129 million years ago (Barremian stage of the Cretaceous period).

Scientifically named Portellsaurus sosbaynati, the ancient creature was a herbivore.

It belongs to Styracosterna, a subgroup of dinosaurs in the clade Iguanodontia that contains the hadrosaurids and all species more closely related to them than to the group Camptosauridae.

Portellsaurus sosbaynati is diagnosed by two autapomorphic features as well as a unique combination of characters,” said Dr. Andrés Santos-Cubedo of Jaume I University and his colleagues from Spain.

“The autapomorphies include: the absence of a bulge along the ventral margin directly ventral to the base of the coronoid process and the presence of a deep oval cavity on the medial surface of the mandibular adductor fossa below the eleventh-twelfth tooth position.”

The right dentary of Portellsaurus sosbaynati: (A) labial, (B) lingual, and (C) occlusal views, (D) enlargement (2x) of a dental crown fragment at the tooth row. Scale bar – 10 cm. Image credit: Santos-Cubedo et al., doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253599.

The fossilized remains of Portellsaurus sosbaynati were recovered from the Margas de Mirambell Formation at the locality of Portell in eastern Spain.

The specimen — a nearly complete right dentary — was from a large individual about 6-8 m (20-26 feet) in length.

Portellsaurus sosbaynati is definitely the first styracosternan dinosaur species identified from the Mirambell Formation in the Morella sub-basin (Maestrat Basin, eastern Spain),” the paleontologists said.

The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the new species is more closely related to Ouranosaurus nigeriensis and Bolong yixianensis – two hadrosaurs from the Early Cretaceous of Niger and China, respectively — than to other hadrosaurid dinosaurs.

“The recognition of Portellsaurus sosbaynati indicates that the Iberian Peninsula was home to a highly diverse assemblage of medium-to-large bodied styracosternan hadrosauriforms during the Early Cretaceous epoch,” the authors said.

Their paper was published online in the journal PLoS ONE.


A. Santos-Cubedo et al. 2021. A new styracosternan hadrosauroid (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) from the Early Cretaceous of Portell, Spain. PLoS ONE 16 (7): e0253599; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0253599

Source: www.sci-news.com/