Aragosaurus: Geological Resources and Palaeoenvironments


The aim of ARAGOSAURUS is to reconstruct the environments of the past on the basis of their geological, mineralogical and palaeontological record, as a means for understanding present-day ecosystems and proposing future scenarios.  

The main study area is Spain, since within a small geographical area the geological record of the last 500 million terrestrial years is represented, with a variety of terrestrial and shallow marine ecosystems that make it a natural laboratory for understanding its evolution through space and time.   

As well as using the basic work techniques of geology, palaeontology and mineralogy such as optical microscopy, the research group is highly dynamic in its use of modern technologies such as photogravimetry, synchrotron radiation, high-resolution electron microscopy, spectroscopy, CT scans, stable isotope analysis of carbon, oxygen and strontium, geometric morphometry and ancient DNA analysis. This has enabled us to achieve novel results at an international level.


Lines of investigation

The team is publishing articles on, and seeks to maintain its interest in, the following specific themes

  1. The marine platforms of the Jurassic; organic productivity, record of climate changes, and use as analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs
  2. Continental and transitional environments and the changes in climate and palaeobiodiversity of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary, and their importance at a global level
  3. The tropical world of the Lower Cretaceous; palaeobiodiversity of dinosaurs; the soils as climatic indicators and as geological resources of strategic interest
  4. Palaeobiogeography as a factor in the dispersal of organisms
  5. The Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary extinction  
  6. The Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum and the marine and continental ecosystems of the Eocene  
  7. Climatic and environmental changes in ecosystems with humans and their role in present-day changes in biodiversity  
  8. Evolution and phylogeny of the mammal species of the Quaternary and the present; morphometry and DNA
  9. 3-D modelling of fossils by means of computer tomography and synchrotron


Projects undertaken

ARAGOSAURUS has been researching into ecosystems with fossil vertebrates for more than 25 years. The results of these investigations are found in many innovatory products in the field of geological and palaeontological tourism. One might cite in this context: the Aren Museum of Dinosaurs (‘The Last Dinosaurs of Aren’), the Tella Cave Bear Museum, the Cultural Park of Río Martin, the Dinosaur Route of Soria, the Natural Science Museum of the University of Zaragoza, and the Atapuerca project. The group is multidisciplinary in that it reconstructs ecosystems by means of palaeontology, stratigraphy, sedimentology and mineralogy, in conjunction with the study of vertebrates and invertebrates and the interpretation of the sedimentary environment. This will make it possible to assess the impact of humankind in the Anthropocene with a view to conserving biodiversity in the future.

The scientific impact of the results obtained is corroborated by several hundred scientific publications, more than 200 of which are in SCI journals. 

Aragosaurus takes part in national and international congresses, has contributed more than 300 communications to national and international conferences, and organized more than a score of congresses

In addition, it has achieved outreach to the general public through some 200 public conferences and in more than 20 popular books and articles

Aragosaurus actively maintains its webpage


  • Equipment required for stratigraphic and sedimentological analysis (Area of Stratigraphy)
  • Equipment required for the excavation, preparation and study of the fossil remains of vertebrates and microvertebrates (Area of Palaeontology)
  • Laboratory of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Zaragoza, with all the relevant journals
  • Research support services of the University of Zaragoza
  • Ancient DNA laboratory in the University Institute of Research into Environmental Sciences (IUCA)
  • Services of specialized businesses.


Technological Offer/Services

  • Geological cartography and stratigraphic and sedimentological sequences
  • Applied research in prospecting for hydrocarbons in carbonate reservoirs
  • Conservation and outreach activity on the geological and palaeontological heritage
  • Consultancy in vertebrate palaeontology
  • Consultancy in the dating and environmental reconstruction of stratigraphic sequences of archaeological and palaeontological sites  
  • Mineralogical studies using X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy

Noticias del Grupo


  • Doctoral students from 15 countries meet in Teruel to learn sedimentology

    (Zaragoza. Monday, October 2, 2023). The week of October 9 to 15, the city of Albarracín will host twenty-four students pursuing their doctorate in Geology. These doctoral students will attend the ninth edition of the International School of Sedimentology, an activity sponsored and subsidized by the International Association of Sedimentologists. To select these young researchers […]

  • European Researchers’ night 2023

    (Zaragoza. Saturday, September 30, 2023). Last Friday, September 29, 2023, the people of Aragon were able to enjoy more than 70 scientific activities at the European Night of Researchers, thanks to the collaboration of 190 researchers from the University of Zaragoza, who brought together experiments, games, talks , walks, coffees and scientific monologues in the […]

  • Found a new species of egg shell of the crocodiles that lived with the last dinosaurs of Ribagorza (Huesca)

    (Zaragoza, Wednesday, August 31, 2022). A new study carried out by paleontologists from the Aragosaurus-IUCA group of the University of Zaragoza, in collaboration with other researchers from the Nova University of Lisbon and the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES), has made it possible to describe a new species of shell crocodile […]

  • The Paleontological Laboratory of Loarre opens its doors

    (Zaragoza/Huesca, Tuesday, August 16, 2022). At the beginning of this month of August, in the town of Loarre (Hoya de Huesca), the Loarre Paleontological Laboratory opened its doors to the public. This center exhibits the fossil dinosaur eggs found in 2019 in the Sierra de Loarre, at the Santa Marina site, and which were excavated […]

  • One hundred Unizar researchers, among the 5,000 most cited and best positioned Spanish scientists in Google Scholar

    (Zaragoza. Friday, June 17, 2022). More than a hundred researchers from the University of Zaragoza are part of the 5,000 most cited and best positioned Spanish scientists, according to the ranking drawn up for the first time by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in order to increase visibility of the role of Spanish […]

  • Presentation of the book “Rodents, ages and landscapes in the Quaternary of the Iberian Peninsula”

    (Zaragoza. Thursday, June 16, 2022). Last Wednesday, June 15, the presentation of the book “Rodents, ages and landscapes in the Quaternary of the Iberian Peninsula” written by the Professor of Paleontology Gloria Cuenca-Bescós and the naturalist Álvaro Morcillo Amo took place at the MCNUZ. The presentation took place in the Pilar Sinués room of the […]

  • The crocodiles that lived with the dinosaurs walked more upright than the current ones

        (Zaragoza. Monday, May 16, 2022). The crocodiles that lived with the dinosaurs walked in a more upright position and in a more agile way than the current crocodiles, according to the study by researchers from the Aragosaurus-IUCA group of the University of Zaragoza and the Miquel Crusafont Catalan Institute of Paleontology, which has […]

  • VIII Contest of Crystallization in the School in Aragon prizes

    (Zaragoza. Friday, May 13, 2022) The Crystallization Contest is a science outreach project aimed at Secondary Education students, with the aim of bringing science and the importance of the world of crystals in modern society closer to the youngest. In addition, it is intended to encourage the application of the scientific method, rational thinking and […]

  • The Final of the crystallization contest in Aragón (VIII edition) recovers the face-to-face format

    (Zaragoza. Wednesday, May 4, 2022). Next Friday, May 6, the Final of the VIII edition of the Crystallization Contest at the School in Aragon will be held in person, after two years in which health restrictions have not allowed it. Students from 43 secondary schools in the three provinces of Aragon will present their crystallization […]


Chief Investigator:

José Ignacio Canudo Sanagustín

Co-chief investigator:

Beatriz Bádenas Lago