Dinosaurs in Spain and the rural environment: Research at the service of territorial development

Alberto Cobos Periáñez


In some rural areas, the impact of palaeontological research on dinosaurs and their geological environment is a very important scientific, cultural, and socio-economic catalyst. The proliferation of places that showcase these types of resources (such as palaeontological parks, museums, geoparks, interpretation centres, and guided routes, etc.) has multiplied in recent years, and they are visited by thousands of people interested in the history of life on Earth. Spain is one of the most representative countries in the world regarding the use of dinosaurs as a factor for territorial development in rural areas. In some cases, such as in the province of Teruel, this is enhanced by the permanent presence of specialists who carry out their research in the immediate environment from which the fossils originate.


palaeontology; Jurassic; Cretaceous; depopulation; geotourism

Full Text: PDF

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.14.24615


Alcalá, L., Cobos, A., & Royo-Torres, R. (2018). Dinosaurios de la Península Ibérica. Revista PH, 94, 116–153. https://doi.org/10.33349/2018.0.4145

Canudo, J. I., Royo-Torres, R., & Cuenca-Becos, G. (2008). A new sauropod Tastavinsaurus sanzi gen. et sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) of Spain. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 28(3), 712–731. https://doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2008)28[712:ANSTSG]2.0.CO;2

Casanovas-Cladellas, M. L., Santafe, J. V., & Sanz, J. L. (2001). Losillasaurus giganteus, un nuevo saurópodo del Tránsito Jurásico-Cretácico de la cuenca de ‘‘Los Serranos’’ (Valencia, España). Paleontologia i Evolució, 32–33, 99–122.

Cobos, A., Alcalá, L., & Royo-Torres, R. (2020). The Dinosaur Route in El Castellar (Teruel, Spain): Palaeontology as a factor of territorial development and scientific education in a sparsely inhabited area. Geoheritage12, 52. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12371-020-00474-3

Cobos, A., Lockley, M. G., Gascó, F., Royo-Torres, R., & Alcalá, L. (2014). Megatheropods as apex predators in the typically Jurassic ecosystems of the Villar del Arzobispo Formation (Iberian Range, Spain). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 399, 31–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.02.008

Díez Díaz, V., Mocho, P., Páramo, A., Escaso, F., Marcos-Fernández, F., Sanz, J. L., & Ortega, F. (2016). A new titanosaur (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Lo Hueco (Cuenca, Spain). Cretaceous Research68, 49–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2016.08.001

Fuentes-Vidarte, C., & Meijide-Calvo, M. (1998). Icnitas de dinosaurios terópodos en el Weald de Soria (España). Nuevo icnogénero Kalohipus. Estudios Geológicos, 54, 147–152. https://doi.org/10.3989/egeol.98543-4213

Fuentes-Vidarte, C., Meijide-Calvo, M., Meijide-Fuentes, F., & Meijide-Fuentes, M. (2016). Un nuevo dinosaurio estiracosterno (Ornithopoda: Ankylopollexia) del Cretácico Inferior de España. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology31(2), 407–446. https://doi.org/10.7203/sjp.31.2.17163

Gasulla, J. M., Escaso, F., Narváez, I., Ortega, F., & Sanz, J. L. (2015). A new sail-backed styracosternan (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Early Cretaceous of Morella, Spain». PLOS ONE10(12), e0144167. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0144167

Kirkland, J. I., Alcalá, L., Loewen, M. A, Espílez, E., Mampel, L., & Wiersma, J. P. (2013). The basal nodosaurid ankylosaur Europelta carbonensis n. gen., n. sp. from the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha Formation of Northeastern Spain. PLOS ONE8(12), e80405. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080405

McDonald, A. T., Espílez, E., Mampel, L., Kirkland, J. I., & Alcalá, L. (2012). An unusual new basal iguanodont (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Teruel, Spain. Zootaxa3595, 61–76. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3595.1.3

Ortega, F., Escaso, F., & Sanz, J. L. (2010). A bizarre, humped Carcharodontosauria (Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. Nature, 467(7312), 203–206. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09181

Perez-Moreno, B. P., Sanz, J. L., Buscalioni, A. D., Moratalla, J. J., Ortega, F., & Raskin-Gutman, D. (1994). A unique multitoothed ornithomimosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain. Nature370, 363–367. https://doi.org/10.1038/370363a0

Royo-Torres, R., Cobos, A., & Alcalá, L. (2006). A giant European dinosaur and a new sauropod clade. Science, 314, 1925–1927. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1132885

Royo-Torres, R., Fuentes, C., Meijide-Fuentes, F., & Meijide-Fuentes, M. (2017). A new Brachiosauridae Sauropod dinosaur from the lower Cretaceous of Europe (Soria Province, Spain). Cretaceous Research, 80, 38–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2017.08.012

Sanz, J. L., Buscalioni, A. D., Casanovas, M. L., & Santafé, J. V. (1987). Dinosaurios del Cretácico Inferior de Galve (Teruel, España). Estudios Geológicos, 43(Extra), 45–64. https://doi.org/10.3989/egeol.8743Extra625

Torcida Fernández-Baldor, F., Canudo, J. I., Huerta, P., Moreno-Azanza, M., & Montero, D. (2017). Europatitan eastwoodi, a new sauropod from the lower Cretaceous of Iberia in the initial radiation of somphospondylans in Laurasia. PeerJ5, e3409. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3409

Verdú, F. J., Royo-Torres, R., Cobos, A., & Alcalá. L. (2015). Perinates of a new species of Iguanodon (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda) from the lower Barremian of Galve (Teruel, Spain). Cretaceous Research, 56, 250–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2015.05.010

Vila, B., Sellés, A., Moreno-Azanza, M., Razzolini, N. L., Gil-Delgado, A., Canudo, J. I., & Galobart, À. (2022). A titanosaurian sauropod with Gondwanan affinities in the latest Cretaceous of Europe. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 6, 288–296. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01651-5

Vilanova y Piera, J. (1872). Tercer período-Mesozoico. Idem Cretáceo. In J. Vilanova y Piera, Compendio de geología (pp. 471–483). Imprenta de Alejandro Gómez Fuentenebro.


  • There are currently no refbacks.