Journal of Iberian Geology

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 129–138 | Cite as

The eosauropterygian fossils from the Middle Triassic of Canales de Molina (Guadalajara, Spain)

  • C. de Miguel Chaves
  • F. Ortega
  • A. Pérez-García
Research Article



Abundant isolated remains of vertebrate fossils were recovered in 1980 in Middle Triassic strata (Muschelkalk Facies) of Canales de Molina (Guadalajara, Spain). However, none of them was figured or described in detail. The careful study of these fossils is performed here.


The eosauropterygian remains from Canales de Molina are described and figured in detail, and compared with the Iberian record of Eosauropterygia.


The study of these elements allows us to identify abundant eosauropterygian remains, including vertebrae, teeth, femora, and a partial humerus. This humerus presents a combination of characters traditionally considered as exclusive affinity of the genus Nothosaurus. Other relatively large elements from this site are also compatible with the bones of this genus. Isolated teeth and a neural arch are identified as belonging to indeterminate nothosaurs. The other elements studied here are poorly informative, and can be only assigned to indeterminate members of Eosauropterygia of small to medium size.


The presence of Nothosaurus or a related form is confirmed in Canales de Molina. Other fossils from the site do not allow to assess if more taxa are present.


Sauropterygia Nothosaurus Muschelkalk Iberian Ranges Castilla-La Mancha 



Abundantes restos aislados de vertebrados fueron recuperados en 1980 en los niveles del Triásico Medio (Muschelkalk Facies) de Canales de Molina (Guadalajara, España). Sin embargo, ninguno de ellos se ha figurado o descrito detalladamente hasta ahora. El estudio detallado de estos fósiles es llevado a cabo aquí.


Los restos de eosauropterigios de Canales de Molina son descritos y figurados en detalle, y comparados con el registro ibérico de Eosauropterygia.


El estudio de estos elementos nos permite identificar abundantes restos de eosauropterigios, incluyendo vértebras, dientes, fragmentos de fémures y parte de un húmero. Este húmero presenta una combinación de caracteres tradicionalmente considerada exclusiva del género Nothosaurus. Otros elementos relativamente grandes de este yacimiento son también compatibles con este género. Dientes aislados y un arco neural se identifican como pertenecientes a notosaurios indeterminados. Los otros elementos estudiados aquí son poco informativos, y sólo pueden ser asignados a miembros indeterminados de Eosauropterygia de pequeño a mediano tamaño.


La presencia de Nothosaurus o de una forma cercanamente emparentada es confirmada en Canales de Molina. Otros fósiles del yacimiento no permiten asegurar si hay otros taxones presentes.

Palabras clave

Sauropterygia Nothosaurus Muschelkalk Cordillera Ibérica Castilla-La Mancha 



This research is funded by a FPI UNED Grant (Ref. 0271864713 Y0SC001170) and received support from the SYNTHESYS Project ( which is financed by European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 “Capacities” Program (FR-TAF-5710 to C. de Miguel Chaves). We thank Ana Bravo, Silvia Menéndez and the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España for the access to the collection, and to Eleuterio Baeza for the preparation of the material. We also thank the editors Fidel Torcida Fernández-Baldor and José Ignacio Canudo, and the reviewers Torsten Scheyer and Jun Liu for their kind comments, which have helped improve this paper.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Biología EvolutivaFacultad de Ciencias, UNEDMadridSpain

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