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New species of carnivorous dinosaur identified in the Iberian Peninsula

dinosaur iberianA new species of carnivorous dinosaur has been identified in the province of Castellon in Spain, the first representative of the group on the Iberian Peninsula to which they gave the name ‘Vallibonavenatrix cani’.

The species inhabited the Iberian Peninsula 125 million years ago, and according to a statement released today by the team that identified it “is the first representative of the group of spinosaurus dinosaurs described in the Iberian fossil record”.

The description of the new theropodous dinosaur species was recently published in the journal Cretaceous Research. The study was headed by Elisabete Malafaia, from the Dom Luiz Institute at Lisbon University’s Science Faculty, in collaboration with other investigators from the Autonomous University of Madrid.

The fossils that allowed for the identification of the species come from rocks characteristic of the Lower Cretaceous period in Santa Águeda, Vallibona (province of Castellón, Spain). They were discovered in the early 1990s by Juan Cano Forner. The name of the new species is composed of ‘Vallibonavenatrix’, meaning ‘the huntress of Vallibona’ and ‘cani’ named after Juan Cano Forner.

The species belongs to the group of carnivorous dinosaurs that is characterized by a skull and teeth that resemble those of a crocodile, and high neural spines along parts of the vertebrae.