Campaign 16 in 'Land of dinosaurs'

The Archaeological and Paleontological Collective of Salas de los Infantes (C.A.S.) returns to the deposits of the Sierra de la Demanda


From Friday, July 5 to Thursday, July 18, the XVI paleontological excavation campaign will be developed in the Sierra de la Demanda (Burgos) in the Valdepalazuelos-Tenadas del Carrascal field, located near Torrelara. This is the third successive year that will be worked on in the site with the aim of delimiting the real extension of the deposit and finalizing in it the research works. The 2 previous campaigns were very fruitful, collecting more than 270 fossil pieces that, in their great majority belong to two sauropod dinosaurs (large, herbivorous, with long neck and tail). The 2 specimens could belong to the same species, given the similarities observed between their bones. As a whole, you can reconstruct a large part of your skeleton with parts of the skull, neck, back, tail, shoulder, hip and the front and back extremities. The most accurate identification of the animal has not yet been possible, although it has some characteristics that would be shared with titanosauriform dinosaurs.


There is still a lot of work to be completed to proceed to a detailed study of the fossils, beginning with their cleaning, preparation and consolidation that can take years. The age of the Torrelara deposit is estimated at approximately 145 million years, from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous. That time corresponds to a significant period in the evolution of dinosaurs, where there are important changes in the faunas of dinosaurs of the entire planet. It is also relevant the fact of the scarcity of remains of sauropods in the Jurassic-Cretaceous transit of the Iberian Peninsula, which also are not usually as complete as the one that is being recovered in Torrelara.

It is also planned to intervene in the Las Sereas 7 dinosaur idol site, in Quintanilla de las Viñas. It proposes the cleaning of sediments and plants that grow on the rock, deteriorating the footprints, improving drainage and drainage and replacing the informative poster that has suffered acts of vandalism. This site is part of the patrimonial route "Land of dinosaurs" that runs from here to Regumiel de la Sierra and has the Dinosaur Museum in Salas de los Infantes as an interpretation center. The excavation team will consist of 25 people. Participants from France, Italy, Burgos, Valladolid, Salamanca, Madrid, Basque Country, Valencian Community, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragon. The majority are university students, graduates, doctoral students and doctors of biology, geology, paleontology, archeology and restoration. The organization is run by the Archaeological and Paleontological Collective of Salas (C.A.S.), the Dinosaurs of Castilla y León Foundation and the Dinosaurs Museum. The San Marcial Division (Army of Spain), Ural Motor-Volkswagen and Auto Joangar S.L., Casa Rural La Morera de Agustina, town councils of Torrelara and Villoruebo also collaborate.  

Unlike the previous 2 campaigns, there is no a priori account with funding from the Diputación de Burgos for not having launched the call for aid to this type of action. It is really the effort of regional institutions that will take forward this campaign of excavations, with the added condition of being an area especially punished by depopulation and lack of public investment. This unfortunate situation contrasts with the results of the excavations and studies that have been conducted year after year, results that transcend the national level and result in the offer of an important tourist resource - the Museum of Dinosaurs as the most obvious example - whose potential it is being wasted; we can remember here the cases of other Autonomous Communities that have invested in a decisive way in this heritage and that enjoy figures of tourists that are counted by millions.


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