A new dinosaur will be named after Andrés Iniesta. This has been decided by the group of paleontologists who have discovered in Burgos the fossil footprints (ichnites) attributed to a sauropod dinosaur that has never been described. It is a quadruped, herbivorous animal, with a long tail and neck and with four claws (normally there would be 3 in this type of animal), and two fingers directed forward. Some characteristics that no other dinosaur footprint of this type has, according to the researchers published this Friday in the magazine Nature Research.
The new species discovered will be called Iniestapodus burgensis (“Pie de Iniesta Burgos”), in tribute to the La Mancha footballer Andrés Iniesta, remembered among other football milestones for having scored the goal that gave Spain the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. In a humorous tone, the discoverers highlight that, like in the case of the footballer, the sauropod has “firm, elegant, graceful, well-marked steps of a peaceful dinosaur”.
The Iniestapodus ichnites have been located in three rocky outcrops that are part of Las Sereas, a megafield with more than 1,000 footprints, extended about 5.6 km in length between Cubillejo de Lara and Mambrillas de Lara; In this space, 14 outcrops with different dinosaur fossil footprints have been identified so far, in the Sierra de la Demanda area.
As indicated, this new study reinforces Castilla y León as a paleontological focus of international interest, specifically in the Sierra de la Demanda (Burgos). The Burgos province is one of the richest in dinosaur deposits in the entire country, and yet, as reported by the Salas Archaeological and Paleontological Collective, CAS, and the Scientific Team of the Salas de los Infantes Dinosaur Museum ( Burgos), the new Castile and Leon Heritage Law, does not protect the fossil remains of dinosaurs.
It is not the first time that Burgos paleontologists have named new species in homage to characters from popular culture. In addition to Demandasaurus darwini, a dinosaur that explains the exchange of European and African dinosaur faunas in the first half of the Cretaceous, named after the scientist Charles Darwin, there is the Europatitan eastwoodi, the tallest dinosaur in Europe, which owes its name to Clint Eastwood, or the Larachelus morla, a tortoise with terrestrial habits, named after the Morla tortoise, from the Neverending Story.