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Fact sheet: Galvesaurus herreroi

Name: Galvesaurus herreroi

Meaning of name: Dinosaur dedicated to Galve, the village in the province of Teruel where it was found, and to its discoverer, José María Herrero.

Authors of the description: Barco J.L., Canudo J.I., Cuenca-Bescós, G. and Ruiz-Omeñaca J.I.

Complete name: Galvesaurus herreroi Barco, Canudo, Cuenca-Bescós and Ruiz-Omeñaca 2005

Found in: Galve, Teruel.

Site: Cuesta Lonsal 1

Age: End of the Upper Jurassic, some 145 million years ago.

Locations where found: : as yet its only known appearance is in Galve.

Type of dinosaur (sub-order)
: sauropod; basal neosauropod.

Dimensions: between 14 and 17 metres in length; between 7 and 10 tonnes in weight

Locomotion: even though its tracks (which would provide definitive proof) remain unknown, Galvesaurus, like all sauropod dinosaurs, would have moved on all fours.

Habitat: it lived near the shore of the sea that had appeared around this time in Galve and this part of the Iberian Range. In areas such as these there was abundant tropical vegetation.

Diet: it was herbivorous and, more specifically, a browser; i.e. it fed on soft shoots and the leaves of various conifers and ferns.

Natural predators: Carnivorous theropods such as Allosaurus and other, smaller ones related to Dromaeosaurus (although older). Once dead it would be eaten by scavengers such as small theropods and crocodiles.

How the first Galvesaurus died : we cannot tell whether it was hunted down or died from natural causes. What does seem clear, given the teeth found at the Cuesta Lonsal site, is that after its death it was eaten by various theropods and crocodiles, who scattered its remains before it was buried by the sediment brought in by the tide.

Principal characteristics: it is a fairly primitive sauropod, although it displays certain aspects that are derived or exclusive (leading one to deduce, among other things, that it was a new sauropod). Particularly noteworthy are humeri that are markedly long and gracile and dorsal vertebrae that are high and at the same time rather short.

Galvesaurus herreroi compared with a human being 1.80 m tall (the vertical line is 1 metre long). Drawing by Javier Rubio

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