Non-marine Mollusc faunas from the Late Jurassic of Asturias, northern Spain
Dr Martin Munt, Earth Sciences, NHM
Thursday 5th July
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2, 16:00
The Jurassic deposits of Asturias (northern Spain) are exposed north of Oviedo between Gijón, in the west and Colunga in the east. They are contained in a narrow fault-bounded basin and exposed almost continually in coastal cliffs for approximately 30 kilometres. The upper part of the sequence comprising the Vega, Tereñes and Lastres formations was deposited in marginal marine and freshwater conditions and is world famous for its assemblages of dinosaur footprints with associated plant and vertebrate fossils.
The authors’ research has focused on the following questions: 1) What is the composition of the mollusc fauna?; 2) Can the fauna be used to delineate palaeoenvironments?; 3) What parallels can be made with other similar aged basins on the Iberian Peninsula? The mollusc fauna has been found to comprise diverse bivalve-dominated shallow marine, low diversity, presumably brackish bivalve faunas, low diversity freshwater gastropod faunas and low diversity freshwater bivalve faunas. A more unusual ‘freshwater’ occurrence is associated with mineral seeps. Parallels can be drawn with the Lusitanian Basin in Portugal and the study has included a re-examination of the historic Sharpe Collection at The Natural History Museum.
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