Cerro Barcino Formation

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Cerro Barcino Formation
Stratigraphic range: Hauterivian-Albian
~130–100 Ma
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofChubut Group
Sub-unitsPuesto Manuel Arce
Bayo Overo
Las Plumas
Cerro Castaño
La Paloma
UnderliesLa Colonia, Paso del Sapo & Lefipán Formations
OverliesLos Adobes Formation
PrimaryMudstone, sandstone
OtherConglomerate, tuff
Coordinates43°48′S 68°36′W / 43.8°S 68.6°W / -43.8; -68.6Coordinates: 43°48′S 68°36′W / 43.8°S 68.6°W / -43.8; -68.6
Approximate paleocoordinates44°42′S 35°06′W / 44.7°S 35.1°W / -44.7; -35.1
RegionChubut Province
Country Argentina
ExtentCañadón Asfalto Basin
Type section
Named forCerro Barcino
Cerro Barcino Formation is located in Argentina
Cerro Barcino Formation
Cerro Barcino Formation (Argentina)

The Cerro Barcino Formation (also known as the Gorro Frigio Formation) is a geological formation in South America whose strata span the Early Cretaceous. The top age for the formation has been estimated to be Albian.[1] Earlier estimates placed the formation until the Campanian.[2]

The formation was deposited in the Cañadón Asfalto Basin, a rift basin that started forming in the earliest Jurassic.[3] Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.[4]

The Cerro Barcino Formation is the second-youngest unit of the Chubut Group, which also includes the older Los Adobes Formation. Both formations cover a vast area in Chubut Province, Argentina. The two formations are distinguished by geological features suggesting a distinct change in climate, from a wetter, flood plain environment in the Los Adobes to a much more arid, desert-like environment in the Cerro Barcino.[2]

The Cerro Barcino Formation is subdivided into several subunits (members).[2] From oldest to youngest:

  • La Paloma
    • Characterized by arid plains interspersed with sand dunes
  • Cerro Castaño
    • A return to more humid, flood-plain conditions
  • Las Plumas
  • Bayo Overo
  • Puesto Manuel Arce

The final three members were estimated to range from Albian to Campanian age (112 to 83 million years ago), while the La Paloma dates to the latest Hauterivian (130 Ma).[2]

Fossil content[edit]

Indeterminate abelisaurid remains.[4] Possible indeterminate carcharodontosaurid remains.[4] Indeterminate Titanosauria remains.[4] Also, an unnamed titanosauriform.[4]


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Crocodylomorphs of the Cerro Barcino Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images
Barcinosuchus[5] B. gradilis Near El Escorial village, Chubut Province Cerro Castaño Member "Skull, mandible, and postcranial remains." A peirosaurid. The first crocodyliform from the Chubut Group


Dinosaurs of the Cerro Barcino Formation
Genus Species Member Material Notes Images
Chubutisaurus C. insignis Bayo Overo[citation needed] "[Two] partial skeletons including most limb elements and caudal vertebrae."[6] A titanosaur.[4]
Genyodectes G. serus Cerro Castaño[7] "Premaxillae, partial dentaries."[8] A possible ceratosaurid
Genyodectes saurus jaws.jpg
Patagotitan P. mayorum
FMNH Patagotitan.jpg
Tyrannotitan T. chubutensis Cerro Castaño A carcharodontosaurid[9]
Dinosaurios los gigantes argentinos.jpg
"Megalosaurus" "Megalosaurus" inexpectatus Indeterminate remains originally described as a species of Megalosaurus[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Figari et al., 2015, p.153
  2. ^ a b c d Rauhut et al., 2003
  3. ^ Figari et al., 2015, p.142
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Weishampel et al., 2004, pp.563-570
  5. ^ Leardi & Pol, 2009
  6. ^ "Table 13.1," in Weishampel et al., 2004, p.268
  7. ^ Rauhut, 2004
  8. ^ "Table 3.1," in Weishampel et al., 2004, p.50
  9. ^ Novas et al., 2005