| Garumbatitan morellensis |
Mocho, Escaso, Gasulla, Galobart, Poza, Santos-Cubedo, Sanz & Ortega, 2023
A new somphospondylan titanosauriform from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain is described from the remains found at the Sant Antoni de la Vespa site (upper Barremian Arcillas de Morella Formation) located in Morella. Garumbatitan morellensis gen. et sp. nov. is diagnosed by 11 autapomorphies and eight local autapomorphies; and our phylogenetic analyses suggest that Garumbatitan morellensis might correspond to an early-branching somphospondylan. The presence of several somphospondylan traits in Garumbatitan morellensis supports the somphospondylan hypothesis. The phylogenetic distribution of some titanosauriform and somphospondylan novelties in the femur (markedly developed lateral bulge, high shaft eccentricity, linea intermuscularis cranialis, and trochanteric shelf) is discussed. The tarsus and pes of Garumbatitan morellensis are distinctive, being characterized by the loss of the calcaneum, relative slenderness of the metatarsals II, III, and IV when compared to the retracted metatarsals I and V, three pedal phalanges in digit IV, and reduced ungual III. The sauropod fauna of the Iberian Peninsula during the Hauterivian–Aptian shows a complex phylogenetic mosaic, including forms with Laurasian affinities, mainly titanosauriforms (Soriatitan, Garumbatitan, and possibly Tastavinsaurus and Europatitan), and Gondwanan affinities, the rebbachisaurid Demandasaurus. Faunal exchange during the Early Cretaceous between the Europe, North America, East Asia, and Africa is plausible.
Keywords: Sauropodomorpha, vertebrate palaeontology, phylogenetic systematics, Dinosauria, Mesozoic, Europe, palaeobiogeography
Pedro Mocho, Fernando Escaso, José M Gasulla, Àngel Galobart, Begoña Poza, Andrés Santos-Cubedo, José L Sanz and Francisco Ortega. 2023. New Sauropod Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Morella (Spain) provides New insights on the Evolutionary History of Iberian Somphospondylan Titanosauriforms. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. zlad124, DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlad124