Rediscovery of Cerro Condor by Fred Bervoets
by Fred Bervoets
A team of the Paleontology Museum in Trelew, Argentina has discovered an verry fossil-rich area called Cerro Condor. This is the lower section of Cañadón Asfalto Formation (Callovian-Oxfordian) and is located at Las Chacritas in Chubut province, Patagonia on the middle course of Chubut River. It is represented by lacustrine carbonate facies with interbedded volcanic layers accumulated in the rift system of the Somuncurá-Cañadón Asfalto Basin The area, an arid plateau, containins the skeletons of dinosaurs and mammals.
At least four unknown species of dinosaurs from the Jurassic period around 150 million to 160 million years ago, one of the world\'s oldest-known mammals and a host of fossils of reptiles and ancient sea turtles are discocovered. The scientist claim that they unearthed only two percent of the contents of the vast fossil deposit which sprawls over hundreds of square miles in southern Argentina.
Among the new found species (which the paleontologists have yet yet to classify and name) are two herbivorous sauropods 10 yards long of which one fossils was also believed
to be complete, and larger carnivorous theropods. The Cerro Condor area was previously explored in the 70\'s and 80\'s during which time two dinosaurs were discovered the allosauride Piatnitzkysaurus floresi of which 2 fragmentary skulls with associated postcrania were found. P. floresi resembled Allosaurus but was more primitive with a relatively long upper arm and the brachiosauride Volkheimeria chubutensis, partial skeleton consisting of presacral and sacral, vertebrae, pelvis, hind limb.
After that time the area was not explored untill six months ago when a local farmer found bones emerging from a rock on the plain.
Other dinosaurs from the Cañadón Asfalto Formation are the cetiosaurine Patagosaurus fariasi of which as many as 12 skeletons with 5 skulls are discovered and Tehuelchesaurus benitezii gen. et sp. nov. whitch is based on about 50 percent of a skeleton of one individual.
Buscalioni, asparini, Erez-Moreno, Sanz (1996) Argentinean theropods first mprphological analysis on isolated teeth. First European Workshop on Vertebrate Palaeontology, Geological Museum, Copenhagen University, 1st-4th May 1996.
Bonaparte and Gasparini de, (1979). Los sauropodes de los Grupos Neuquen y Chubut, y sus relaciones cronologicas. Actas VII Congr. Geol. Argent. Neuquen 2: 393-406
Bonaparte (1979). Dinosaurs: A Jurassic assembalge from Patagonia. Science 205: 1377-1379