Dinosaur footprints found in several European countries, very similar to others in Morocco, suggest that they could have been dispersed between the two continents by land masses separated by a shallow sea more than 145 million years ago.
The remains of an Iberian lynx specimen which lived 1.6 million years ago - the oldest ever discovered - were found resting in a cave in Barcelona (Spain). This discovery not only allows us to shed light on the origins of one of the world's most endangered feline species, but it also means that the emergence of this species on the Iberian Peninsula dates back half a million years earlier than what was originally believed.
In Jaen in 2009 a team of scientists found the remains of what was, until then, the oldest turtle species in southern Europe at 160 million years old. But by reinterpreting the fossils, a Spanish researcher has proved that it is not a new species, but a group of very diverse turtles in Europe during the Jurassic Period, which disappeared due to changing sea levels.
On São Miguel Island in the Azores, there used to exist a small, nocturnal bird of prey, related to the European scops owl, named Otus frutuosoi, which was very probably driven to extinction with the arrival of the first settlers in the 15th century. An international study, in which Spanish researchers participated, has for the first time identified fossils of this species endemic to the island.
Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have studied the fossilised remains of scales and bones found in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza, ascertaining that they belong to a new fish species called Machaeracanthus goujeti that lived in that area of the peninsula during the Devonian period. The fossils are part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.