Complete the skeletons of sauropod dinosaurs, objective of the excavations in La Demanda



New campaign of dinosaur excavations in the Sierra de la Demanda

The excavation campaign at the Sierra de la Demanda sites in Burgos will start the second half of July with 18 researchers, as confirmed on Tuesday by the director of the Salas de los Infantes Dinosaur Museum and excavations, Fidel Torcida , who has specified that the objective is to complete the skeletons of sauropod dinosaurs.
The campaign, organized by the Salas Archaeological and Paleontological Collective (CAS) and now in its eighteenth edition, will once again intervene at the Valdepalazuelos-Tenadas del Carrascal site, in the municipality of Torrelara.

A total of 18 researchers, mostly graduates, postgraduates and students from Aragon, the Basque Country, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid, La Rioja, Burgos, and Italy, will participate in the excavation, expanding their training and learning in conservation and restoration of fossils.

In addition, another 10 people will complete the team, offering external support to the campaign.

Torcida has indicated that despite the persistence of the pandemic, it is "very important" to continue with the work to recover fossils at the site and therefore, the group of excavators will follow a series of rules established by the health authorities, especially in the coexistence in the place where they will stay, as well as in the work at the site and other daily situations with social interaction.

In this way, the use of masks will be influenced, the maintenance of social protection distance and the exclusive use of some work tools such as gloves.

In addition, the participants will go through an antigen test at the beginning of the campaign, establishing a nucleus of stable coexistence that functions in practice as a "bubble" or semi-closed group to the outside. The researcher has insisted that the excavations in the Sierra de la Demand are currently the only excavations of dinosaur fossils that are carried out in a planned and continuous way in Castilla y León.

At the same time, it has advanced that, for the fifth consecutive year, this campaign will work in the Torrelara site, where 650 records of fossil pieces and a large number and diversity of fossils corresponding to varied groups of dinosaurs and other vertebrates have been recorded so far. Torcida has pointed out that the objective of the campaign is to complete the skeletons of two sauropod dinosaurs of different species that have been recovering since 2017, in addition to moving forward in locating more evidence of other groups of dinosaurs, other reptiles and associated vegetation. .

The age of the Torrelara site is estimated at approximately 145 million years, in the transition from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous. That time corresponds to a significant period in the evolution of dinosaurs, in which some groups of them are being replaced by others; This process is still the object of study and research, so Torrelara (which contains a high diversity of fauna, as well as complete and well-preserved fossils) is going to be a key place to better document and understand how these changes were produced.

In addition, another line of research is aimed at finding out the similarity of the Torrelara dinosaur fauna with other contemporary but present on other continents.