, Volume 94, Issue 5, pp 367–374 | Cite as

New evidence of shared dinosaur across Upper Jurassic Proto-North Atlantic: Stegosaurus from Portugal

  • Fernando EscasoEmail author
  • Francisco Ortega
  • Pedro Dantas
  • Elisabete Malafaia
  • Nuno L. Pimentel
  • Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola
  • José Luis Sanz
  • José Carlos Kullberg
  • María Carla Kullberg
  • Fernando Barriga
Original Article


More than one century after its original description by Marsh in 1877, we report in this paper the first uncontroversial evidence of a member of the genus Stegosaurus out of North America. The specimen consists of a partial skeleton from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal, herein considered as Stegosaurus cf. ungulatus. The presence of this plated dinosaur in the upper Kimmeridgian–lower Tithonian Portuguese record and synchronic levels of the Morrison Formation of North America reinforces previous hypothesis of a close relationship between these two areas during the Late Jurassic. This relationship is also supported by geotectonic evidences indicating high probability of an episodic corridor between the Newfoundland and Iberian landmasses. Together, Portuguese Stegosaurus discovery and geotectonic inferences could provide a scenario with episodical faunal contact among North Atlantic landmasses during the uppermost Kimmeridgian–lowermost Tithonian (ca. 148–153 Ma ago).


Upper Jurassic Portugal Stegosauria Phylogeny Paleogeography 



Laboratório de História Natural da Batalha, Batalha, Portugal


Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, CO, USA


Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA



We thank Mr. Rui de Sousa Pinheiro and his son, who found the fossil site, and their family for their hospitality during the fieldwork. We also thank the volunteers that collaborated in the excavation and the preparation of the material, for their help particularly Ms. Graça Ramalheiro; P.M. Galton, K. Carpenter, and two anonymous referees for their useful comments; and R. Martín for drawings. This research was supported by the project POCTI/1999/PAL/36550—“Dinosaur Osteological and Ichnological studies of the Mesozoic of Portugal (Dinos)”—from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal), Câmara Municipal da Batalha, and the Agreement of Collaboration JCCM-UAM.

Supplementary material

114_2006_209_MOESM1_ESM.doc (56 kb)
(DOC 57 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Escaso
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Francisco Ortega
    • 3
  • Pedro Dantas
    • 4
    • 5
  • Elisabete Malafaia
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nuno L. Pimentel
    • 6
  • Xabier Pereda-Suberbiola
    • 7
  • José Luis Sanz
    • 1
  • José Carlos Kullberg
    • 8
  • María Carla Kullberg
    • 6
  • Fernando Barriga
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Museo de las Ciencias de Castilla-La ManchaCuencaSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias DFMFUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain
  4. 4.Laboratório de História Natural da BatalhaBatalhaPortugal
  5. 5.Museu Nacional de História Natural (Universidade de Lisboa)LisboaPortugal
  6. 6.Faculdade de Ciências, Departamento de GeologiaUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  7. 7.Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Departamento de Estratigrafía y PaleontologíaUniversidad del País Vasco/EHUBilbaoSpain
  8. 8.Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Centro de Investigação em Geociências Aplicadas (CIGA)Universidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal

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