Wed. Feb 26th, 2020

They discover in Cabañeros a “rare marine fossil” of 465 million years



A team of scientists has discovered in the National Park of Cabañeros, in the provinces of Ciudad Real and Toledo, “a rare marine fossil” of 465 million years.

As reported by the Ministry of Ecological Transition in a press release this Thursday, this fossil cephalopod, which has been baptized as ‘Cabaneroceras aznari’, lived millions of years ago on the marine platforms of the disappeared continent of Gondwana.

The extinct marine animal belongs to the strange group of intejocéridos, cephalopods that were believed to be restricted to paleotropical latitudes.

The study of dozens of fragments of this rare marine fossil, obtained at two points in the Cabañeros National Park, has served to characterize a new genus and species of fossil cephalopod.

The discovery has taken place within the framework of a research project of the Autonomous National Parks Organization led by the CSIC paleontologist Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Marco, of the Geosciences Institute of Madrid, in collaboration with the fossil cephalopod specialist Björn Kröger, of the Museum Finnish Natural History.

The investigation concluded with the support of a project of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Scientists have named the new fossil as Cabaneroceras aznari, whose etymology refers respectively to its discovery in Cabañeros (Cabaneroceras = “the cephalopod of Cabañeros”) and in homage to Alejandro Aznar, owner of the farm of the same name where the paleontological site is located main, located in the municipality of Horcajo de los Montes (Ciudad Real).

The main scientific interest of this finding is given by the fact that Cabaneroceras belongs to the strange group of intejocéridos, cephalopods that were believed to be restricted to paleotropical latitudes during the Ordovician period, and that until now were exclusive to Siberia and North America.

Spanish fossils are the first intejocéridos that are located in circumpolar cold water contexts, corresponding to Gondwana paleolatitudes similar to the current Antarctic.

The fossils studied will be deposited in the Geominero Museum, the Paleontological Museum of Castilla-La Mancha (Cuenca), the Visitor Center of the Cabañeros National Park and the Museum of Natural Sciences of Viso del Marqués (Ciudad Real).

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