Dinosaur fossil beds
in the Iberian peninsula

IDPI Presentation

IDPI, Icnitas de Dinosaurio de la Península Ibérica (Dinosaur ichnites on the Iberian Peninsula), is a Spanish-Portuguese candidature for eleven dinosaur footprint sites to be considered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Therefore, IDPI is a cross-border asset because it is located within the territory of two states sharing a border (Spain and Portugal).

IDPI is also a group asset that includes constituent parts related to each other by belonging to the same bio-geographic area. It is the group as a whole, and not necessarily the individual parts themselves, that is of exceptional universal value.

The IDPI sites are located in several Spanish Autonomous Communities and Portuguese Districts: Aragon, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Valencian Community, La Rioja and the Principality of Asturias in Spain, and Santarem and Setubal in Portugal. All have a wealth of paleontological assets in general and dinosaur ichnite sites in particular. Eleven of these sites have special scientific value: Pedreira do Galinha, Vale de Meios and Pedra da Mua in Portugal; Tereñes, Fuentesalvo, Las Cerradicas, El Peladillo, Los Cayos, Tambuc and Fumanya in Spain.

Together, the eleven sites of the IDPI candidature represent the extraordinary and diverse wealth of dinosaur footprint records on the Iberian Peninsula (around 230 sites and more than 22,000 prints), with exceptional universal value.

  • They represent a succession of these vertebrates over the last 100 million years of the Mesozoic. They have a special world-wide relevance by being a major window to unlock the evolution of dinosaurs between the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, reflecting the numerous lifestyles and environments in which the dinosaurs lived.
  • They are also reinforced by an abundance of other direct remains (bones and teeth) and other indirect remains of vertebrates coinciding with the age of the footprints, the analysis of which is consistent with the general typology of the ichnites as in no other place in the world.
  • The wide diversity of ichnites on the Iberian Peninsula and their relation to the other direct remains enables a reconstruction of how dinosaurs evolved from the mid-Jurassic through to the late Cretaceous. Hypotheses can be formulated regarding their dispersion and ways of life in a very restricted area on the single tectonic "Iberian Plate", which served as an island or interconnecting bridge for various fauna species living on the surrounding major continental land masses following the fragmentation of the Pangaea supercontinent.

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