In a statement sent today to Lusa news agency, Naturtejo states that this discovery occurred in the continuation of the paleontological investigation project of the formations that make up the Penha Garcia Syncline by the Geology Service of the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova, in the district of Castelo Branco.
The work focused on Herdade do Vale Feitoso (Idanha-a-Nova), where about ten paleontological sites were known since the 1970s, including sites of geological relevance from the Geological and Geomining Heritage Inventory of the UNESCO World Naturtejo Geopark.
“In addition to the great diversity of marine fossils that were collected and will be studied by the team that includes Carlos Neto de Carvalho, scientific coordinator of the Naturtejo Geopark, the ten days of intense fieldwork allowed us to discover new sites with fossils never before identified in the region”, the note reads.
Trilobites, brachiopods, echinoderms, bivalves, graptolites and ostracodes, are among a great diversity of marine organisms, which have been extinct for hundreds of millions of years, some of almost microscopic dimensions, were collected and will now be treated, cataloged and studied, to be later returned to the municipality of Idanha-a-Nova.
According to Naturtejo, this paleontological collection can be seen in the new interpretive space under development in Penha Garcia, which will allow you to discover the “Ordovician Ocean of Penha Garcia” and the ways of life of its most famous ancestral inhabitants, the trilobites.
The ongoing research project in the territory of the UNESCO Naturtejo World Geopark is coordinated by the paleontologist Sofia Pereira, from the University of Coimbra.
The international group of geologists and paleontologists has developed detailed stratigraphic, structural and paleontological cartography of geological formations, with an estimated age between 467 and 435 million years, which extend from Salvador beyond the border of Termas de Monfortinho.
The work of identifying and mapping the new paleontological sites included the participation of Tim Young, from the University of Cardiff (United Kingdom), who made the Penha Garcia region part of his doctoral thesis.
The Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional, which is part of the UNESCO world network, includes the municipalities of Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros, Penamacor, Proença-a-Nova and Vila Velha de Ródão.