Pere Figuerola

El programa “Sense ficció” emetrà el pròxim 28 de novembre en horari de màxima audiència (21:55h) aquest documental produït per TV3 i realitzat per Batabat amb el suport de la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) i l’assessorament científic de l’Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, sobre els darrers dinosaures que van viure als Pirineus fa uns 70 milions d’anys. El Museu de la Conca Dellà ha organitzat un passi previ divendres, 24, a Tremp.

L’eix conductor del documental són les restes d’un titanosaure que el paleontòleg alemany Walter Kühne va començar a excavar a la dècada dels 50 al jaciment d’Orcau (Pallars Jussà, Lleida). El jaciment, però, va caure en l’oblit i no va ser fins l’any 2014, que investigadors de l’Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) i la Universitat de Saragossa van acabar d’extreure el coll d’aquest animal, una peça de més de cinc metres de llarg. Posteriorment, els paleontòlegs van recuperar part del material excavat originalment que es trobava al Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Madrid) per poder-lo estudiar.

La troballa del coll de titanosaure és de gran importància des del punt de vista científic, ja que mai fins ara s’havia recuperat una resta tan gran a Europa i, probablement, es tracti d’una espècie mai descrita.

A partir de la història de l’excavació, el documental, d’una hora de durada, explica quin és el coneixement actual sobre els dinosaures que van viure al Pirineu fa 70 milions d’anys i que es corresponen als darrers que van viure a Europa, molt pròxims en temps geològics a la gran extinció que va acabar amb aquests animals fa 66 milions d’anys arreu del planeta. Mitjançant reconstruccions del paleoambient, s’expliquen les principals faunes de dinosaures que van viure durant el Cretaci al que actualment són els Pirineus, i que en aquell moment era una zona de clima subtropical amb maresmes properes al mar.

A banda del d’Orcau, “L’últim gegant d’Europa” recorre altres jaciments de referència als Pirineus, com el d’icnites de Fumanya (Berguedà, Barcelona). Les petjades de titanosaures d’aquest jaciment que van quedar impreses a la roca permeten aportar informació sobre el seu comportament gregari, així com les dimensions dels titanosaures i la velocitat a la que es desplaçaven. Amb la visita als jaciments d’ous de la zona de Coll de Nargó (Alt Urgell, Lleida), el documental explica quin és el coneixement actual sobre la reproducció d’aquests animals. A Vallcebre (també al Berguedà) es mostra la pell impresa a la roca d’un d’aquests titanosaures i que ha permès reconstruir-ne el seu aspecte extern.

A banda dels investigadors del grup de recerca de Faunes del Mesozoic de l’ICP, Bernat Vila, Àngel Galobart (cap del grup i director del Museu de la Conca Dellà), Albert G. Sellès, Josep Marmi i Novella Razollini, al documental hi apareixen altres paleontòlegs de renom internacional com Emiliano Aguirre (exdirector del Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales i exdirector dels jaciments d’Atapuerca), Greg P. Wilson (Universitat de Washington), Steve Brussatte (Universitat d’Edimburg), Jose Ignacio Canudo (Universitat de Saragossa), Xabier Pereda (Universitat del País Basc), Antoni Lacasa (Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs), Víctor Fondevilla i Oriol Oms (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), o Rodrigo Gaete (Museu de la Conca Dellà), que expliquen diversos aspectes de la biologia d’aquests animals extints y de la geologia de la zona.

La part històrica del documental inclou entrevistes a persones que van treballar amb Walter Kühne durant les excavacions del segle passat com Josep Montané, excapatàs de les mines de de Suterranya. La recuperació de la llibreta de camp original del paleontòleg alemany, mort l’any 1991, porta els investigadors de l’ICP fins a Stuttgart (Alemanya) per conèixer Anna i Urs Klebe, fills de Kühne i que han conservat aquest document de l’any 1955 i que acaba proporcionant informació molt valuosa per a la investigació.

Jordi Portals és el director i guionista del documental que ha estat realitzat per Arnald Viladomat i produït per TV3 conjuntament amb Batabat i ha comptat amb el suport de la Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT), l’Ajuntament d’Isona i la Conca Dellà i la Diputació de Lleida.

Preestrena divendres a Tremp

El documental s’emetrà el dia 28 a les 21:55h per TV3 dins del programa “Sense Ficció”, però el Consell Comarcal del Pallars Jussà ha organitzat una preestrena a l’Epicentre (Passeig del Vall, 13) divendres 24, a les 19h. L’acte és obert al públic general, però l’aforament és limitat. Hi participaran Montse Armengou (Directora de “Sense ficció” de TV3), Constante Aranda (Alcalde d’Isona i la Conca Dellà i President del Consell Comarcal del Pallars Jussà) i Àngel Galobart i Bernat Vila (dos dels paleontòlegs de l’Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont que participen en el documental).

In 2005, the European Commission issued the European Charter for Researchers and a Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. These two documents, addressed to researchers as well as research employers and funders in both the public and private sectors, are key elements in the EU's policy to boost researchers' careers.

In December 2017, the ICP endorsed the 40 principles of the 'European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers' and it is committed to implement a new Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) according to this Charter and Code.

From January to October 2017, the ICP HRS4R Implementation Committee and Working Group performed an internal Gap Analysis and planned 25 initiatives to improve our human resources policies. These initiatives were described in the ICP Action Plan that was presented to the European Comission in November 2017.

 

Related documents:

- ICP Action Plan

- Declaration of Endorsement of Charter & Code

A study published today in Scientific Reports by researchers at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) reveals that competition between species would have been the cause behind the pathological dinosaur eggs that have been recovered in several sites of southwestern Europe. Female titanosaurs would have retained eggs in the oviduct for a long period of time, causing changes in the process of shell formation.

An international team of researchers including Daniel DeMiguel, from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), have analyzed the three dimensional structure of the inner ear of several extant and extinct species of deer. The study, published in Scientific Reports, has shed light on the origin and evolution of this group, one of the most diverse families among mammals.

Researchers from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) have taken part in the annual meeting of the European Association of Vertebrate Palaeontologists (EAVP), the most important vertebrate paleontology  meeting in Europe, held in Munich from 1st to 3rd August. ICP personnel or collaborators presented up to 30 works among talks and posters.

An international team of paleontologists led by Novella Razzolini, researcher at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), describes the new 150-million-years-old type of carnivorous dinosaur footprint Megalosauripus transjuranicus. Scientists studied more than 300 tridactyl trackways in Switzerland before the site was partially destroyed by the construction of a highway. The research has been published in PLOS ONE. In another recent article, the same team of researchers describes one of the world's largest carnivorous dinosaur footprints that belonged to an animal of a similar size of Tyrannosaurus rex.

 

 

 

This is just a small sample of the paleontological richness of Catalonia. The pieces exhibited in this showcase are replicas of fossils excavated in different sites of the country.

 

1. Pliobates cataloniae, "Laia"

A team of researchers from the ‘Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont’ described in the Science magazine in late 2015 the new genus and species Pliobates cataloniae based on a skeleton recovered from the landfill of Can Mata (els Hostalets de Pierola, Catalonia, Spain). The fossil remains belong to an adult female individual named “Laia” by her discoverers. “Laia” weighed 4-5 kg, consumed soft fruit items and moved through the forest canopy by climbing and suspending below branches. Pliobates lived 11.6 million years ago and precedes the divergence between hominids (great apes and humans) and hylobatids (gibbons), which has important implications for reconstructing the last common ancestor of both groups.

The cranial remains were so fragmentary that researchers relied on a virtual reconstruction based on high-resolution computed-tomography imagery to study them. The 3D model could therefore be printed as you can observe.

More information on Pliobates cataloniae



2. Isochirotherium, archosaur fossil footprint

This fossil footprint (ichnite in paleontology) was fortuitously found in May 2016 by members of the ‘Centre Muntanyenc i de Recerca’ from Olesa. It’s a 16x10 cm piece that holds a footprint of the ichnogenus Isochirotherium made by an archosaur, a group of reptiles that preceded dinosaurs and crocodiles. Archosaurs resembled extant crocodiles, walking on all fours though their legs were longer and moved in a more vertical position than that of crocodiles.

The appearance of these reptiles, known as archosaurs, was similar to that of today's crocodiles, they walked on all fours, but these were relatively longer and were arranged in a more vertical position than those of crocodiles. Archosaurs dominated the terrestrial ecosystems after the extinction of the Late Permian (the largest in Earth's history) just before the appearance of the dinosaurs.

The Puigventós ichnite, found near Olesa de Montserrat, is from the Middle Triassic and is the best preserved of all the fossilized tracks in the Iberian Peninsula, since it even preserves detailed impressions of the claws and the skin.

Més informació sobre Iscohirotherium

3. Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, "Pau"

A skull and other associated remains of an hominoid were discovered in 2002. A total of 82 elements of a partial adult male skeleton were retrieved, which enabled scientists to describe, in 2004, the new genus and species Pierolapithecus catalaunicus.

Pau weighed around 35 kg, ate fruit and, besides moving quadrupedally, he used to climb trees vertically. He is the oldest evidence of an orthograde body plan from the entire fossil record, but unlike living apes he lacks any adaptations to hang below branches. This indicates that orthogrady originally evolved for vertical climbing instead of suspension, contrary to what many researchers thought based on the study of living forms.

Studies of the relationships of the genus Pierolapithecus indicate that it precedes the split between the orangutan lineage and that of African apes and humans around 14 million years ago, meaning that he is a good model of the last common ancestor of the group.

More information on Pierolapithecus catalaunicus


4. Albanosmilus jourdani, false sabertooth

 

Barbourofelids are extinct carnivores also known as "false sabertooth" related to extant felids. Several fossil remains have been recovered from Africa, Eurasia and North America. In the Valles-Penedes basin (in Catalonia) the oldest remains of Albanosmilus are about 12 million years old and were found in the landfill of Can Mata (Hostalets de Pierola, Anoia). The most recent remains, however, have been found in Can Llobateres (Sabadell, Vallès Occidental) and are dated around 9.5 million years ago.

In 2013, researchers at the ‘Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont’ published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology new fossil remains of the barbourofelid Albanosmilus jourdani, including the skull included in the showcase. The full skull and some mandible remains were recovered from different sites from Hostalets de Pierola and Terrassa. These fossils helped to confirm that this species should be included in the genus Albanosmilus, not Sansanosmilus as it was thought until then. The study also proved that the genus Barbourofelis was originated in North America during the middle Miocene, after the dispersion of Albanosmilus from Eurasia through the continent.

More information on Albanosmilus jourdani

 


5. Titanosaur egg

This egg was laid by a titanosaur, a group of quadruped herbivorous dinosaurs that could reach gigantic dimensions. Titanosaurs were included in the sauropods, a group that includes the largest animals that have ever walked on the Earth. In the Pyrenees several remains have been found, including eggs, footprints and bones. Scientific studies have identified at least 8 different forms of sauropod dinosaurs from 72 to 66 million years ago. Remains belong to very large species (about 15 meters in length) and to smaller ones, with adults that would hardly reach 6 or 7 meters of total length.

More information on titanosaurs

 

 

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In accordance with Organic Law 15/1999, of December 13, we would like to inform you that your email adress will be included in an automated file in order to keep contact with you and to inform you about ICP activities, products and services. You may exercise your rights to access, rectification, erasure and objection your data by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

The Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) board has today approved the designation of David M. Alba, head of the Neogene and Quaternary Fauna research group, as the new director of the ICP. Alba replaces Salvador Moyà-Solà, founder and leader of the centre since 2006.

A team of researchers from the Department of Geology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) recently published in PLOS ONE the description of a large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs, reptiles which later evolved into crocodiles and dinosaurs. Among the tracks, there is evidence of a new species, the Prorotodactylus mesaxonichnus, which corresponds to a reptile which lived in the Pyrenees some 247 to 248 million years ago, but which was not related to any dinosaur.

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