Lourinhã Formation

The Lourinhã Formation is a fossil rich geological formation in western Portugal, named for the municipality of Lourinhã. The formation is Late Jurassic in age (Kimmeridgian/Tithonian) and is notable for containing a fauna similar to that of the Morrison Formation in the United States and the Tendaguru beds in Tanzania. The stratigraphy of the formation and the basin in general is disputed, with the constituent member beds belonging to the formation varying between different authors[1]

Besides the fossil bones, Lourinhã Formation is well known for the fossil tracks[2] and fossilized dinosaur eggs.[3]

The Lourinhã Formation includes several lithostratigraphic units, such as Praia da Amoreira-Porto Novo Members and the Sobral Unit.[4]

Lourinhã Formation
Stratigraphic range: Late Jurassic Kimmeridgian–Tithonian
Lourinhã Formation
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofLusitanian Basin
  • Consolação Sub-Basin - Praia da Amoreira Member, Porto Novo Member, Santa Rita Member
  • Turcifal Sub-Basin - Praia Azul Member, Assenta Member,
UnderliesPorto da Calada Formation
OverliesConsolação Formation, Alcobaça Formation
Thicknessup to 400 metres (1,300 ft)
PrimarySandstone, Mudstone
Country Portugal
ExtentLisbon District

Dinosaurs of the Lourinhã Formation

In a 2003 study, an analysis of all Portuguese dinosaurs was published. The study created a cladogram showing the possible relations of all Portuguese dinosaurs, including those at the time known from the Lourinhã Formation.[5]







































Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Lourinhanosaurus antunesi baby
Torvosaurus gurneyi
Skeletal restoration showing the size of T. gurneyi, known remains highlighted.


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis
ZBY atlanticus one turiasaurian of Portugal


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Genus Species Member Material Notes Images


T. cuneatus[5]

Amoreira-Porto Novo Member[12]


A. kuehnei[5]


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.

Synapsids of the Lourinhã Formation


Genus Species Member Material Notes


Haldanodon expectatus

Partial skeleton and isolated bones

Semi-aquatic forager.


Genus Species Member Material Notes


Nanolestes drescherae

Right lower molar.

Amphitheriidae; small omnivore or insectiore.


Dryolestes leiriensis

Left mandible.

Dryolestidae; insectivore or omnivore.


Guimarotodus inflatus

Right mandible.

Dryolestidae; insectivore or omnivore.


Krebsotherium lusitanicum

Left mandible.

Dryolestidae; insectivore or omnivore.


Drescheratherium acutum

Upper jaw.

Paurodontidae; herbivore.


Henkelotherium guimarotae

Semi-complete skeleton

Paurodontidae; arboreal insectivore or omnivore.

Flora of the Lourinhã Formation

Genus Species Member Material Notes Images


P. mondeguensis

P. sp.


S. coffati

See also

References cited

  1. ^ Mateus, O.; Dinis, J.; Cunha, P. P. (2017-09-28). "The Lourinhã Formation: the Upper Jurassic to lower most Cretaceous of the Lusitanian Basin, Portugal – landscapes where dinosaurs walked". Ciências da Terra / Earth Sciences Journal. 19 (1): 75–97. doi:10.21695/cterra/esj.v19i1.355. ISSN 2183-4431.
  2. ^ Milàn, J; Christiansen, P; Mateus, O. "A three-dimensionally preserved sauropod manus impression from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal: implications for sauropod manus shape and locomotor mechanics". Kaupia. 14: 47–52.
  3. ^ a b c d e Araújo, R., Castanhinha R., Martins R. M. S., Mateus O., Hendrickx C., Beckmann F., Schell N., & Alves L. C. (2013). "Filling the gaps of dinosaur eggshell phylogeny: Late Jurassic Theropod clutch with embryos from Portugal" (PDF). Scientific Reports. 3: 1924. Bibcode:2013NatSR...3E1924A. doi:10.1038/srep01924. PMC 3667465. PMID 23722524.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Weishampel, David B. et al. (2004). "Dinosaur distribution (Late Jurassic, Europe)." In: Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd ed., Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 545–549. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Antunes, M.T.; Mateus, O. (2003). "Dinosaurs of Portugal" (PDF). Comptes Rendus Palevol. 2 (1): 77–95. doi:10.1016/S1631-0683(03)00003-4.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Hendrickx, C., & Mateus O. (2014). "Abelisauridae (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal and dentition-based phylogeny as a contribution for the identification of isolated theropod teeth". Zootaxa. 3759: 1–74. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3759.1.1. PMID 24869965.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Mateus, O., Walen A. and Antunes M. T. (2006). "The large theropod fauna of the Lourinhã Formation (Portugal) and its similarity to the Morrison Formation, with a description of a new species of Allosaurus". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 36: 123–129.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b c Malafaia, E.; Ortega, F.; Escaso, F.; Dantas, P.; Pimentel, N.; Gasulla, J. M.; Ribeiro, B.; Barriga, F.; Sanz, J. L. (2010-12-10). "Vertebrate fauna at the Allosaurus fossil-site of Andrés (Upper Jurassic), Pombal, Portugal". Journal of Iberian Geology. 36 (2): 193–204. doi:10.5209/JIGE.33856 (inactive 2019-08-16).
  9. ^ a b Allosauruseuropaeus. archosaur.us
  10. ^ a b c d Mateus, O. and Antunes M. T. (2000). Ceratosaurus sp. (Dinosauria: Theropoda) in the Late Jurassic of Portugal. Abstract volume of the 31st International Geological Congress. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  11. ^ Malafaia, Elisabete; Ortega, Francisco; Escaso, Fernando; Silva, Bruno (2015-10-03). "New evidence of Ceratosaurus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin, Portugal". Historical Biology. 27 (7): 938–946. doi:10.1080/08912963.2014.915820.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mateus, O., Mannion P. D., & Upchurch P. (2014). "Zby atlanticus, a new turiasaurian sauropod (Dinosauria, Eusauropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34 (3): 618–634. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.822875.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e f Lourinhanosaurusantunesi. archosaur.us
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Hendrickx, Christophe; Mateus, Octávio (2014). "Torvosaurus gurneyi n. sp., the Largest Terrestrial Predator from Europe, and a Proposed Terminology of the Maxilla Anatomy in Nonavian Theropods". PLoS ONE. 9 (3): e88905. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...988905H. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088905. PMC 3943790. PMID 24598585.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Torvosaurusgurneyi. archosaur.us
  16. ^ a b c d Bonaparte, J.; Mateus, O. (1999). "A New Diplodocid, Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis gen. et sp. nov., from the Late Jurassic Beds of Portugal" (PDF). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales. 5 (2): 13–29. ISSN 0524-9511. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Mannion, P.D.; Upchurch, Paul; Mateus, O.; Barnes, R.N.; Jones, M.E.H. (2012). "New information on the anatomy and systematic position of Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis (Sauropoda: Diplodocoidea) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal, with a review of European diplodocoids" (PDF). Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 10 (3): 521–551. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.595432.
  18. ^ a b c Mocho, Pedro; Royo-Torres, Rafael; Ortega, Francisco (2014-04-01). "Phylogenetic reassessment of Lourinhasaurus alenquerensis, a basal Macronaria (Sauropoda) from the Upper Jurassic of Portugal". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 170 (4): 875–916. doi:10.1111/zoj.12113.
  19. ^ a b c d Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Barnes, Rosie N.; Mateus, Octávio (2013). "Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms" (PDF). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 168: 98–206. doi:10.1111/zoj.12029.
  20. ^ a b Mocho, P.; Royo-Torres, R.; Ortega, F. (2016-11-03). "New data of the Portuguese brachiosaurid Lusotitan atalaiensis (Sobral Formation, Upper Jurassic)". Historical Biology. 0 (6): 789–817. doi:10.1080/08912963.2016.1247447. ISSN 0891-2963.
  21. ^ a b c d e Tschopp, E.; Mateus, O. V.; Benson, R. B. J. (2015). "A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)". PeerJ. 3: e857. doi:10.7717/peerj.857. PMC 4393826. PMID 25870766.open access
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Mateus, O., Maidment S., & Christiansen N. (2009). "A new long-necked 'sauropod-mimic' stegosaur and the evolution of the plated dinosaurs". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 276 (1663): 1815–21. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1909. PMC 2674496. PMID 19324778.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ a b c d Mateus, O., Milàn J., Romano M., & Whyte M. A. (2011). "New finds of stegosaur tracks from the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 56 (3): 651–658. doi:10.4202/app.2009.0055.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ a b c d e Mateus, O., & Milan J. (2008). "Ichnological evidence for giant ornithopod dinosaurs in the Upper Jurassic Lourinhã Formation, Portugal". Oryctos. 8: 47–52.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  25. ^ Escaso, Fernando; Ortega, Francisco; Dantas, Pedro; Malafaia, Elisabete; Pimentel, Nuno L.; Pereda-Suberbiola, Xabier; Sanz, José Luis; Kullberg, José Carlos; Kullberg, María Carla (2006-12-23). "New evidence of shared dinosaur across Upper Jurassic Proto-North Atlantic: Stegosaurus from Portugal". Naturwissenschaften. 94 (5): 367–374. Bibcode:2007NW.....94..367E. doi:10.1007/s00114-006-0209-8. PMID 17187254.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h Mateus, O., & Antunes T. M. (2001). "Draconyx loureiroi, a new camptosauridae (Dinosauria, Ornithopoda) from the Late Jurassic of Lourinhã, Portugal". Annales de Paleontologie. 87: 61–73. doi:10.1016/s0753-3969(01)88003-4.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ a b c Escaso, Fernando; Ortega, Francisco; Dantas, Pedro; Malafaia, Elisabete; Silva, Bruno; Gasulla, José M.; Mocho, Pedro; Narváez, Iván; Sanz, JosÉ L. (2014-07-29). "A new dryosaurid ornithopod (Dinosauria, Ornithischia) from the Late Jurassic of Portugal". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 34 (5): 1102–1112. doi:10.1080/02724634.2014.849715.

Other references

  • Antunes, M.T. and Mateus, O. (2003). Dinosaurs of Portugal. C. R. Palevol, 2:77–95
  • Mateus, O. (2006). "Late Jurassic dinosaurs from the Morrison Formation, the Lourinhã and Alcobaça Formations (Portugal), and the Tendaguru Beds (Tanzania): a comparison," in Foster, J.R. and Lucas, S. G. R.M., eds., 2006, "Paleontology and Geology of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation." New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 36
  • Mateus, O (2007). "Notes and review of the ornithischian dinosaurs of Portugal". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 27: 1–182. doi:10.1080/02724634.2007.10010458.

External links

Amoreira-Porto Novo Members

The Amoreira Member and Porto Novo Member (or Amoreira/Porto Novo Unit, Portuguese: Unidade Amoreira-Porto Novo) is a subdivision of the Lourinhã Formation, a geological formation in Portugal. It dates back to the Late Jurassic.


Ceratosaurus (from Greek κέρας/κέρατος, keras/keratos meaning "horn" and σαῦρος/sauros meaning "lizard") was a carnivorous theropod dinosaur in the Late Jurassic period (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian). This genus was first described in 1884 by American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh based on a nearly complete skeleton discovered in Garden Park, Colorado, in rocks belonging to the Morrison Formation. The type species is Ceratosaurus nasicornis.

The Garden Park specimen remains the most complete skeleton known from the genus, and only a handful of additional specimens have been described since. Two additional species, Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus and Ceratosaurus magnicornis, have been described in 2000 from two fragmentary skeletons from the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry of Utah and from the vicinity of Fruita, Colorado. The validity of these additional species has been questioned, however, and all three skeletons possibly represent different growth stages of the same species. In 1999, the discovery of the first juvenile specimen was reported. Since 2000, a partial specimen was excavated and described from the Lourinhã Formation of Portugal, providing evidence for the presence of the genus outside of North America. Fragmentary remains have also been reported from Tanzania, Uruguay, and Switzerland, although their assignment to Ceratosaurus is currently not accepted by most paleontologists.

Ceratosaurus was a medium-sized theropod. The original specimen is estimated to be 5.3 m (17 ft) or 5.69 m (18.7 ft) long, while the specimen described as C. dentisulcatus was larger, at around 7 m (23 ft) long. Ceratosaurus was characterized by deep jaws that supported proportionally very long, blade-like teeth, a prominent, ridge-like horn on the midline of the snout, and a pair of horns over the eyes. The forelimbs were very short, but remained fully functional; the hand had four fingers. The tail was deep from top to bottom. A row of small osteoderms (skin bones) was present down the middle of the neck, back, and tail. Additional osteoderms were present at unknown positions on the animal's body.

Ceratosaurus gives its name to the Ceratosauria, a clade of theropod dinosaurs that diverged early from the evolutionary lineage leading to modern birds. Within the Ceratosauria, some paleontologists proposed it to be most closely related to Genyodectes from Argentina, which shares the strongly elongated teeth. The geologically older genus Proceratosaurus from England, although originally described as a presumed antecedent of Ceratosaurus, was later found to be unrelated. Ceratosaurus shared its habitat with other large theropod genera including Torvosaurus and Allosaurus, and it has been suggested that these theropods occupied different ecological niches to reduce competition. Ceratosaurus may have preyed upon plant-eating dinosaurs, although some paleontologists suggested that it hunted aquatic prey such as fish. The nasal horn was probably not used as a weapon as was originally suggested by Marsh, but more likely was used solely for display.


Dinheirosaurus is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur that is known from fossils uncovered in modern-day Portugal. It may represent a species of Supersaurus. The only species is Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis, first described by José Bonaparte and Octávio Mateus in 1999 for vertebrae and some other material from the Lourinhã Formation. Although the precise age of the formation is not known, it can be dated around the early Tithonian of the Late Jurassic.

The known material includes two cervical vertebrae, nine dorsal vertebrae, a few ribs, a fragment of a pubis, and many gastroliths. Of the material, only the vertebrae are diagnostic, with the ribs and pubis being too fragmentary or general to distinguish Dinheirosaurus. This material was first described as in the genus Lourinhasaurus, but differences were noticed and in 1999 Bonaparte and Mateus redescribed the material under the new binomial Dinheirosaurus lourinhanensis. Another specimen, ML 418, thought to be Dinheirosaurus, is now known to be from another Portuguese diplodocid. This means that Dinheirosaurus lived alongside many theropods, sauropods, thyreophorans and ornithopods, as well as at least one other diplodocid.

Dinheirosaurus is a diplodocid, a relative of Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Barosaurus, Supersaurus, and Tornieria. Among those, the closest relative to Dinheirosaurus is Supersaurus.

Dinosaur Revolution

Dinosaur Revolution is a four-part American nature documentary produced by Creative Differences. It utilizes computer-generated imagery to portray dinosaurs and other animals from the Mesozoic era. The program was originally aired on the Discovery Channel and Science.

Dinosaur Revolution was released to mixed reviews, with some citing the quality of its animation and a lack of seriousness in its tone as reasons for criticism. It was, however, praised for its educational content and general energy.


Draconyx (meaning "dragon claw") is a genus of dinosaur from the Late Jurassic. It was an ornithopod which lived in what is now Portugal and was a herbivore. It was found in the Lourinhã Formation in 1991, and described by Octávio Mateus and Miguel Telles Antunes in 2001.


In the geologic timescale, the Kimmeridgian is an age or stage in the Late or Upper Jurassic epoch or series. It spans the time between 157.3 ± 1.0 Ma and 152.1 ± 0.9 Ma (million years ago). The Kimmeridgian follows the Oxfordian and precedes the Tithonian.


Krokolithes is an oogenus of Crocodiloid eggs. These eggs were laid by an extinct species of Crocodylian. It contains three oospecies, "K. dinophilus", K. wilsoni and K. helleri.


Lourinhanosaurus (meaning "Lourinhã lizard") was a genus of carnivorous theropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian/Tithonian) in Portugal. It is one of many large predators discovered at the Lourinhã Formation and probably competed with coeval Torvosaurus gurneyi, Allosaurus europaeus, and Ceratosaurus.


Lourinhasaurus (meaning "Lourinhã lizard") was an herbivorous sauropod dinosaur genus dating from Late Jurassic strata of Estremadura, Portugal.


Lourinhã (Portuguese pronunciation: [loɾiˈɲɐ̃] (listen)) is a municipality in the District of Lisbon, in subregion Oeste in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 25,735, in an area of 147.17 km². The seat of the municipality is the town of Lourinhã, with a population of 8,800 inhabitants.

The present Mayor is João Duarte, elected by the Socialist Party.


Lusotitan is a genus of herbivorous brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period of Portugal.

In 1947 Manuel de Matos, a member of the Geological Survey of Portugal, discovered large sauropod fossils in the Portuguese Lourinhã Formation that date back to the Tithonian stage of the Late Jurassic period. In 1957 Albert-Félix de Lapparent and Georges Zbyszewski named the remains as a new species of Brachiosaurus: Brachiosaurus atalaiensis. The specific name referred to the site Atalaia. In 2003 Octávio Mateus and Miguel Telles Antunes named it as a separate genus: Lusotitan. The type species is Lusotitan atalaiensis. The generic name is derived from Luso, the Latin name for an inhabitant of Lusitania, and from the Greek word "Titan", a mythological giant.

The finds consisted of a partial skeleton lacking the skull and individual vertebrae uncovered in several locations. De Lapparent did not assign a holotype. In 2003 Mateus chose the skeleton as the lectotype. Its bones have the inventory numbers MIGM 4798, 4801–10, 4938, 4944, 4950, 4952, 4958, 4964–6, 4981–2, 4985, 8807, and 8793-5. These remains include 28 vertebrae and elements of the appendicular skeleton.

It has been estimated that Lusotitan was 25 meters (82 feet) long. It had long forearms, one of the reasons Mateus assigned it to the Brachiosauridae.

The lectotype was re-described by Mannion and colleagues in 2013.

Museu da Lourinhã

Museu da Lourinhã is a museum in the town of Lourinhã, west Portugal. It was founded in 1984 by GEAL - Grupo de Etnologia e Arqueologia da Lourinhã (Lourinhã's Group of Ethnology and Archeology).

The museum has very complete exhibits of archaeology and ethnology, but the main focus of the museum is the palaeontology hall, which presents casts of famous dinosaurs, as well as fossils recovered from the Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation. Among these is the famous theropod nest found at the beach of Paimogo, which contains eggs with embryos inside, probably belonging to Lourinhanosaurus.

The paleontological research has been conducted by the paleontologists Miguel Telles Antunes, Octávio Mateus and others, in association with the Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The museum receives about 25.000 visitors every year.

The museum allows people to volunteer for its activities.

Sobral Unit

The Sobral Unit (Portuguese: Unidade Sobral) or Sobral Member is a subdivision of the Lourinhã Formation, a geological formation in Portugal. It dates back to the Late Jurassic.


Suchoolithus is an oogenus (fossil egg genus) of crocodylomorph eggs from the late Jurassic of Portugal. They are notable for their small size, and for being among the oldest known crocodylomorph eggs.


In the geological timescale, the Tithonian is the latest age of the Late Jurassic epoch or the uppermost stage of the Upper Jurassic series. It spans the time between 152.1 ± 4 Ma and 145.0 ± 4 Ma (million years ago). It is preceded by the Kimmeridgian and followed by the Berriasian stage (part of the Cretaceous).


Torvosaurus () is a genus of carnivorous megalosaurid theropod dinosaurs that lived approximately 153 to 148 million years ago during the Late Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian to Tithonian) in what is now Colorado and Portugal. It contains two currently recognized species, Torvosaurus tanneri and Torvosaurus gurneyi.

In 1979 the type species Torvosaurus tanneri was named: it was a large, heavily built, bipedal carnivore, that could grow to a length of about 10 m (33 ft). T. tanneri was among the largest carnivores of its time, together with Epanterias and Saurophaganax (which could be both synonyms of Allosaurus). Specimens referred to Torvosaurus gurneyi were initially claimed to be up to twelve metres long, but later shown to be smaller. Based on bone morphology Torvosaurus is thought to have had short but very powerful arms.


Zby is an extinct genus of turiasaurian sauropod dinosaur known from the Late Jurassic (late Kimmeridgian stage) of the Lourinhã Formation, central west Portugal. It contains a single species, Zby atlanticus. It is named after Georges Zbyszewski, who studied the geology and paleontology of Portugal.


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