Dinosaur bonebed amber from an original swamp forest soil

Sergio Álvarez-Parra*, Ricardo Pérez de la Fuente, Enrique Peñalver, Eduardo Barrón, Luis Alcalá, Jordi Pérez-Cano, Carles Martín-Closas, Khaled Trabelsi, Nieves Meléndez, Rafael López Del Valle, Rafael P. Lozano, David Peris, Ana Rodrigo, Víctor Sarto I. Monteys, Carlos A. Bueno-Cebollada, César Menor-Salván, Marc Philippe, Alba Sánchez-García, Constanza Peña-Kairath, Antonio ArilloEduardo Espílez, Luis Mampel, Xavier Delclòs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Dinosaur bonebeds with amber content, yet scarce, offer a superior wealth and quality of data on ancient terrestrial ecosystems. However, the preserved palaeodiversity and/or tapho-nomic characteristics of these exceptional localities had hitherto limited their palaeobiological potential. Here, we describe the amber from the Lower Cretaceous dinosaur bonebed of Ariño (Teruel, Spain) using a multidisciplinary approach. Amber is found in both a root layer with amber strictly in situ and a litter layer mainly composed of aerial pieces unusually rich in bioinclusions, encompassing 11 insect orders, arachnids, and a few plant and vertebrate remains, including a feather. Additional palaeontological data—charophytes, palynomorphs, ostracods— are provided. Ariño arguably represents the most prolific and palaeobiologically diverse locality in which fossil-iferous amber and a dinosaur bonebed have been found in association, and the only one known where the vast majority of the palaeontological assemblage suffered no or low-grade pre-burial transport. This has unlocked unprecedentedly complete and reliable palaeoecological data out of two complementary windows of preservation—the bonebed and the amber—from the same site.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72477
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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