Monday, November 23, 2015

Were the Tidal Flats of Maastrichtian Cretaceous Catalonia a Safe Haven for Sauropods From Theropods?

Transitional environments of the lower Maastrichtian South-Pyrenean Basin (Catalonia, Spain): The Fumanya Member tidal flat


Oms et al


Sedimentological, palaeontological and geochemical data provide detailed evidence of a marine-to-lagoon environmental succession around the Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary in the Ibero-Armorican domain. This regression is recorded by the succession of several environments of the south-central Pyrenees basin: open marine mixed shelf, marine restricted mixed shelf (both rudist-rich), tidal flat, lagoon and fluvial dominated. The tidal flat setting belongs to the Fumanya Member here described, which is the base of the Posa and Massana formations (Tremp Group). The Fumanya Member is 5 m thick, is built up of marly limestones and was an elongated tidal mudflat (100 km long, 25 km wide) developed in a foreland trough and was separated from the Atlantic Ocean by an island-barrier system. In the lagoon environment, marginal marine waters and continental fresh waters alternated as documented by geochemistry and fossil molluscs. The Fumanya Member is a dinosaur megatracksite, reporting the roaming activity only of sauropods in tidal flats, a likely secure area against predators. Feeding activity of these herbivores took place in the lagoonal-lacustrine environments of the Posa Formation above the Fumanya Member.

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