Marco Romano

Marco Romano
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Earth Sciences

PhD, Geology-Palaeontology, History of Science

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171
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Publications

Publications (171)
Article
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In this contribution we present an in vivo reconstruction and volumetric body mass estimate for the mounted skeleton of Mammuthus meridionalis on exhibit at the east bastion of the Spanish Fortress at L’Aquila (Abruzzo, Central Italy). The reconstruction has been obtained starting from a 3D photogrammetric model of the skeleton acquired via a micro...
Conference Paper
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Since the early 2000s, digital photogrammetry has become increasingly popular in ichnology. Such approach has enabled the digitisation of footprints and the objectivisation of data collected in the field. In particular, the opportunity to analyse the footprints through colour-coded images represents a powerful tool to highlight the morphological ch...
Conference Paper
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The Quaternary deposits of the Oricola-Carsoli intermontane Basin (OCB) yielded an abundant but poorly studied vertebrate fauna (Fabbi et al., 2021). Hippopotamus cf. antiquus, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, and Stephanorhinus sp. remains were found in the 19th century in the municipalities of Vallinfreda and Riofreddo and described in early contributions...
Conference Paper
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Body mass (BM) estimation in extinct tetrapods constitutes a crucial research field, which sheds light on several important aspects of the biology and general physiology of organisms, with important implications also for the study of macro-evolutionary processes. In this framework, we present a volumetric body mass estimate and an in vivo reconstru...
Conference Paper
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The MUST (Museo Universitario di Scienze della Terra, Sapienza University of Rome), preserves a wealth of historical geological, mineralogical and palaeontological collections acquired during its long history (Manni, 1993). Founded in 1804 as the Mineralogy Museum, it moved to the University City in 1928, being organised into three distinct museum...
Conference Paper
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More than 200 early-middle Cenomanian dinosaur tracks are preserved on three different horizons of a quarry near the municipality of Sezze, 70 km southeast of Rome. The ichnological analysis was performed by combining traditional methods and new tools, such as high-resolution digital photogrammetry and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The study...
Conference Paper
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The Esperia tracksite, located 30 km south of Frosinone (central Italy), is characterised by about 80 dinosaur footprints, Aptian in age (Petti et al., 2008). Despite the strong slope, the surface was investigated using close-range and aerial photogrammetry, to obtain more accurate morphological details on the poorly preserved tracks. Due to the hi...
Article
Bàsura Cave (Toirano, NW Italy) became famous worldwide in 1950 for the discovery of prehistoric human footprints and of an impressive Ursus spelaeus bone deposit baptized by the first explorers ‘Cimitero degli Orsi’ (Bear Cemetery). Bear remains belonging to the deeper layer of the deposit have been left in situ and are now one of the principal at...
Article
Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the first naturalistic illustrations appeared in texts and treatises, marking the true and proper passage from simple literary works to real scientific contributions. Since that time, the geo-palaeontological literature and the world of scientific illustrations developed together. For a long time initi...
Article
A review of the abundant vertebrate fauna found in the Quaternary deposits of the Oricola-Carsoli intermontane Basin is here presented, with a brief excursus on the history of the research in this area and some biochronological considerations on these faunal assemblages. Palaeoloxodon antiquus, Hippopotamus cf. antiquus, and Stephanorhinus sp. rema...
Article
The fabrication and trade of fake or counterfeit fossils is a major problem in paleontology, with countless specimens sold on the market that have repeatedly entered official scientific literature. Far from being only a modern problem, the counterfeiting of fossils is an ancient activity and can be traced back to the early scientific interest of ma...
Conference Paper
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We report a new coral assemblage collected from Kimmeridgian–Tithonian pelagic deposits of Northern Apennines. Such corals proliferate on intrabasinal structural highs (Pelagic Carbonate Platforms - PCPs) originated from dismembering and drowning of the vast Calcare Massiccio carbonate platform during the Early Jurassic Western Tethys rifting st...
Conference Paper
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Sclerobiont bryozoans have been found in the pelagic Maiolica Fm. of the Umbria-Marche Basin (Monte Acuto, Northern Apennines, Italy). The studied specimens, collected as loose material, are three sub-circular colonies of small size with tube-shaped zooecia, radially developing from the centre. Observable characters prevent generic or specific c...
Article
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have seen tremendous development in the last decade, with numerous applications in civil and research fields. Drones' success, particularly in the field of research, is due to a number of factors, including rapid technological advancement, tool versatility, and prices that are becoming increasingly affordable even f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the present contribution we describe elasmobranch remains from the Aptian Albian Marne a Fucoidi cropping out at Mt Nerone (Umbria-Marche Ridge, Northern Apennines, Italy), representing the first occurrence of lamniform vertebrae from the Cretaceous of the Umbria-Marche Domain (Central Italy). Due to high fossilization potential of the hard dent...
Conference Paper
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The Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME, ca. 252 Mya) eliminated > 90% of marine and terrestrial species and thus can be considered as one of the most severe biotic crises of the entire Phanerozoic. The Early and Middle Triassic represented a long period of recovery with a real al and marine ecosystems. Entire new clades emerged after the mass e...
Article
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The Bàsura Cave (Toirano, Savona, NW Italy) hosts important cave bear bone assemblages and a numerous and varied, tracks and traces record left by humans and other producers. An outstanding element of the analysed material is represented by fossil bear fur fragments, which were found in the inner deposits of the cave, and that, to date, are virtual...
Article
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Pareiasaurs (Amniota, Parareptilia) were characterized by a global distribution during the Permian period, forming an important component of middle (Capitanian) and late Permian (Lopingian) terrestrial tetrapod biodiversity. This clade includes some of the first large-sized terrestrial herbivores, playing a fundamental role in the structure of midd...
Article
One hundred years ago the Serbian engineer, mathematician and geophysicist Milutin Milanković published the seminal work "Mathematical Theory of Thermal Phenomena Caused by Solar Radiation", which laid the foundation for mathematical modelling of climatic cycles. Milanković succeeded in linking major climate change to three known astronomical param...
Article
Ankylosaurid ankylosaurs were armoured wide-bodied, rotund herbivores ornithischian dinosaurs notable for their weaponized tails and the presence of peculiar osteoderms. In this contribution I present the first diversity vs. disparity analysis in ankylosiaurids, using as a base the dataset from a recent published phylogeny for the clade. As already...
Article
The elasmobranch fossil record is essentially represented by isolated teeth due to high fossilization potential of hard dental components. Conversely, the cartilaginous skeletal elements, even though mineralized, are less prone to survive to the biostratinomic and diagenetic processes with negative implications in our understanding of the evolution...
Chapter
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The chapter summarizes the new results of the Bàsura Revisited Interdisciplinary Research Project. The integrated interpretation of recent archaeological data and palaeosurface laser scans, along with geoarchaeological, sedimentological, geochemical and archaeobotanical analyses, geometric morphometrics and digital photogrammetry, enabled us to rec...
Article
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The most accepted killing model for the Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME) postulates that massive volcanic eruption (i.e., the Siberian Traps Large Igneous Province) led to geologically rapid global warming, acid rain and ocean anoxia. On land, habitable zones were drastically reduced, due to the combined effects of heating, drought and acid...
Article
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We provide a list of contribution by Italian scientists to tetrapod ichnology with papers on both material from Italy and abroad. Foreign author's contributions on tetrapod ichnology based on material from Italy are also considered. The list updates the previous one published by D'Orazi Porchetti et al. (2008) and, as a result, includes works from...
Article
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The word "prehistory" has been used for a long time to indicate all extinct organisms of the past, with dinosaurs occupying a center stage stimulating the imagination of a very large audience. Such erroneous use of the term prehistory is widespread even today, a word and concept originally referred to the period of human history which preceded writ...
Article
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In the fall of 1894, an almost entire elephant skeleton was found in the municipality of Riofreddo (Rome) on the edge of the Piana del Cavaliere. The remains, in a poor state of conservation, were studied by Alessandro Portis, who identified the fossil species. Besides the elephant, Portis also studied the remains of hippopotamus, rhinoceros and a...
Article
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This year, 2020, marks the 150 th anniversary of the seminal work by Giulio Curioni (1870), representing the first published scientific contribution on tetrapod footprints from Italy. We took this opportunity to discuss the current state of the art on tetrapod ichnology in our country, with a jubilee volume, titled "Tetrapod ichnology in Italy: the...
Article
The Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME, ca. 252 Mya) was one of the most severe biotic crises of the Phanerozoic, eliminating > 90% of marine and terrestrial species. This was followed by a long period of recovery in the Early and Middle Triassic which revolutionised the structure of both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, triggering the new ec...
Article
Full-text available
After about thirty years of investigation, the Cretaceous tetrapod track record from Italy has proved to be a 'Rosetta Stone' for improving understanding of the palaeogeographical and palaeoenvironmental evolution of the peri-Adriatic area. In the present contribution, we summarize current knowledge and different interpretations proposed on the bas...
Article
We report here on the first tetrapod tracks from the Triassic of the Nurra region (north-western Sardinia, Italy). The specimens were found on sandstone blocks used to build a fence limiting a seasonal camping, in the coastal area north of Capo Caccia promontory. Lithologic and petrographic features allowed an assignment of the track-bearing blocks...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Here we report newly collected corals from Kim-meridgian-Tithonian pelagites of Central and Northern Apennines. They grew on intrabasinal structural highs (Pelagic Carbonate Platforms or PCPs). The highs originated from dismembering and drowning of a vast peritidal carbonate platform during the Early Jurassic Western Tethys rifting stage. The drown...
Article
Full-text available
The ichnological record of human traces from Italy is rich and quite diversified. In recent years, the development and dissemination of various methodologies and technological applications has facilitated the re-analysis of this record, enabling different, sometimes deeper, interpretations favoured by the integration of external data, both geologic...
Article
Nel presente contributo sono trattati e discussi per la prima volta in modo sistematico e organico gli elementi geologici rintracciabili nell'opera Il Tesoro di Brunetto Latini. Oltre riferimenti strettamente geologici, nel testo sono presi in considerazione anche aspetti di carattere più generale, includendo anche richiami di cosmologia e scienze...
Article
The Mt Nerone area hosts a Jurassic-Cretaceous Pelagic Carbonate Platform (PCP)-basin succession in the Umbria-Marche Domain (Central Italy). Despite being studied thoroughly on sedimentological and geological aspects, wide-spectrum palaeocological studies are currently missing for this peculiar setting. While several studies on the invertebrate fa...
Article
We describe the first evidence of sclerobiont bryozoans found loose in the pelagic Maiolica Fm. of the Umbria-Marche Basin (Monte Acuto Massif, Northern Apennines, Italy). The material is represented by three small sub-circular colonies with tube-shaped zooecia radially developing from the centre. These characters are not enough for generic or spec...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution I present the first diversity (number of taxa) versus disparity (explored morphospace) comparison of sabertoothed felids performed on craniomandibular and dental characters. The graphs obtained demonstrate how the morphospace exploration gradually increases in the group through time, reaching a maximum in the late Pliocene and...
Conference Paper
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In this contribution we provide the first body mass estimate and in-vivo reconstruction of the basal tapinocephalid Tapinocaninus pamelae, based on a remarkably complete and well preserved skeleton from the lowermost Beaufort Group of South Africa. Despite the significance of the huge size reached by dinocephalians, to date no detailed body mass es...
Conference Paper
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Since 2008 more than fifteen fieldworks have been conducted in the Nurra area in NW Sardinia, were a well-known thick succession of more than 600 m of post-Variscan continental deposits crops out. The fieldworks, headed by a team of the Department of Earth Sciences of Sapienza of Rome in collaboration with the University of Pavia, led to the collec...
Article
Dinocephalians were the earliest large terrestrial tetrapods from Gondwana, making this group crucial in understanding body mass (BM) evolution in basal synapsids, but no detailed weight determinations are available for the clade. Here we present the first BM estimate for a dinocephalian on the basis of the remarkably well preserved and complete sk...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades, methodologies for three-dimensional digitisation of geological outcrops have considerably grown. These methods provide to geologists powerful tools to collect, manipulate and communicate field evidence through the reconstruction of high-resolution digital models, starting from a considerable amount of raw data. Among the differ...
Article
Body size is one of the most crucial biological properties, with a major influence on ecology, metabolism and several physiological aspects. Recently the exceptionally large dicynodont Lisowicia bojani from the Late Triassic of Poland has been described. Using a regression formula based on long bone circumferences, an impressive body mass of 9.33 t...
Conference Paper
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Working together, palaeontologists and artists can reconstruct the appearance of organisms that lived millions of years ago by studying, drawing and sculpting, and also thanks to the powerful tools provided by new 3D technologies. Among non-avian dinosaurs, the most suitable candidate to be represented by a 3D anatomical model, including soft-tissu...
Conference Paper
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The Mt Nerone Pelagic Carbonate Platform is proving to be a feasible observatory for a more inclusive understanding of the vertebrate/invertebrate palaeocommunities that inhabited the Jurassic sea of the Umbria-Marche-Sabina Domain. While the invertebrate fauna from Mt Nerone area has been largely studied in the past, formal descriptions of the ver...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Body size is one of the most crucial biological properties for both extant and extinct organisms as it influences the ecology, metabolism, reproduction rate, life span, growth rate fecundity and several other physiological aspects. Taking into account the strong relationship between these aspects and body mass, the quantitative analysis of body siz...
Article
Full-text available
Based on the integration of laser scans, sedimentology, geochemistry, archeobotany, geometric morphometrics and photogrammetry, here we present evidence testifying that a Palaeolithic group of people explored a deep cave in northern Italy about 14 ky cal. BP. Ichnological data enable us to shed light on individual and group level behavior, social r...
Article
In the present paper we provide a new estimate of the body mass (BM) of the dwarf elephant Palaeoloxodon ex gr. P. falconeri from Spinagallo cave (Sicily) at three different ontogenetic stages. The new estimates are based on 3D in-vivo restorations, digitally sculpted on anatomically updated photogrammetric models of the skeletons mounted at the Mu...
Article
Dinocephalians form an important component of the Guadalupian basal therapsid faunas of Pangaea. Most research undertaken on this clade has focused on the skull while postcranial research has lagged, largely because of the rarity of sufficiently complete specimens. The discovery of an almost complete skeleton of the basal tapinocephalid dinocephali...
Article
Captorhinids are a speciose clade of sauropsids that are crucial to understand several aspects of basal amniote general biology. Members of the Captorhinidae explored different diets and, amongst basal amniotes, were one of the first groups to demonstrate high-fibre herbivory. Several papers have been published on the cranial anatomy of captorhinid...
Preprint
Full-text available
Based on the integration of laser scan, sedimentology, geochemistry, archeobotany, geometric morphometrics and photogrammetry, here we present evidence testifying a Palaeolithic group that explored a deep cave in northern Italy about 14 ky cal. BP. Ichnological data enable us to shed light on individual and group level behavior, social relationship...
Article
During the Late Cretaceous mosasaurs experienced a very rapid diversification, and inhabited almost the whole globe, especially in ancient coastal marine environments and subtropical epicontinental seas. Occurrences of mosasaurs as both complete and fragmentary material are known from all continents, ranging from the Canadian Arctic to Antarctica a...
Article
The geological elements found in the De re aedificatoria by Leon Battista Alberti are discussed for the first time in detail. In Alberti we find the enlightened conception of how architectural works must be conceived to adapt to natural processes and their evolution, and not vice versa. The great architect uses, in a first place, a purely pragmatic...
Conference Paper
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Dinocephalians, which comprise an important component of Middle Permian tetrapod biodiversity, are a crucial clade of Pangaean basal therapsids. While most studies over decades focused on the skull, postcranial research has lagged, largely because of the paucity and unwieldy size of specimens. The discovery and full state of preparation of an almos...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Italy is a geologically ‘young’ country, where several natural processes related to tectonics, earthquakes, landslides, and evolution of the landscape are still very active and often dramatically energetic. Recognizing the natural hazards linked to this complex geological framework, the scientific and social role of the Earth Scientist in Italy is...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
By the early nineteenth century, the peiagic carbonate piatform (PCP) of Mt. Nerone in the UmbriaMarche Sabina (UMS) Domain (Umbria-Marche Apennine, Itaiy) attracted schoiars from all over Europe due to the wealth of fossil fauna preserved in a stunningiy well-exposed Mesozoic sedimentary succession. Severai geo-paleontological studies were focused...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Torre del Porticciolo palaeontological locality (Alghero, N-W Sardinia, Italy) returned the skeletal remains of the first Permian basal synapsid from Italy, Alierasaurus ronchii (Romano & Nicosia, 2014, 2015; Romano et al., 2017), the largest late early Permian to early middle Permian non-therapsid synapsid known to date. Recently, other skelet...
Article
Two meanings of the term axony are found in the ichnological literature. Multiple meanings may prove to be a double-edge sword, complicating scientific communication. In vertebrate ichnology the first meaning of axony relies on aspects of locomotion related to the body weight support and propulsive thrust. A second one concerns axony as a purely ge...
Article
Since the early nineteenth century, the structural high of Mt. Nerone in the Umbria-Marche Sabina Domain (UMS-Central/ Northern Apennines, Italy) attracted scholars from all over Europe due to the wealth of fossil fauna preserved in a stunningly well-exposed Mesozoic sedimentary succession. Several geo-palaeontological studies were focused on the a...
Article
The Torre del Porticciolo palaeontological locality (Alghero, northwest Sardinia, Italy) is important for having provided the skeletal remains of the first Permian basal synapsid from Italy, Alierasaurus ronchii, the largest late early Permian to early middle Permian non-therapsid synapsid known to date. Recently, other skeletal remains preliminari...
Article
Full-text available
Ostracoderms (fossil armoured jawless fishes) shed light on early vertebrate evolution by revealing the step-wise acquisition of jawed vertebrate characters, and were important constituents of Middle Palaeozoic vertebrate faunas. A wide variety of head shield shapes are observed within and between the ostracoderm groups, but the timing of these div...
Data
Dataset Pteraspidiformes analysis
Article
Among historians of geology, the end of the seventeenth century is well known for the appearance of many detailed theories of the Earth which attempted to achieve great syntheses of natural processes and phenomena in order to explain the evolution of the Planet from its original state to the one that could be observed in the field. Among the most f...
Conference Paper
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The Torre del Porticciolo fossil locality is notable for producing the first osteological material of a basal non-mammalian synapsid from Italy, the giant herbivore Alierasaurus ronchii, which likely represents one of the largest non-therapsid synapsids (6-7 m total length). Recently, a new productive site was discovered approximately 100 metres fr...
Article
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The footprints of human and animal trackmakers, which around 12,000 years B.P. attended the Cave of Básura (Toirano, Lig-uria, Northern Italy), were studied through morpho-classificatory and morphometric approaches. First results indicate at least three different human producers, two youths and the third of tender age, bears and wolves (or dogs). A...
Article
The study of the relationship between disparity (occupied morphospace) and diversity (number of taxa) through geological time represents a powerful tool in the macroevolutionary study of groups. In this contribution, this approach is applied for the first time to the cyrtocrinid crinoids, a major clade of mostly Mesozoic articulate crinoids also re...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Umbria-Marche-Sabina (hereafter UMS) Domain in Central and Northern Apennines hosts a Upper Triassic to Neogene sedimentary succession recording a rifting stage occurred by the late Hettangian, dismembering a Bahamian-type carbonate platform. Tectonic subsidence and palaeoceanographic/palaeoecological perturbations diachronically led to the dro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this contribution we present a new productive site discovered at Torre del Porticciolo fossil locality (NW Sardinia, Alghero, Italy). The site is close to the outcrop which yielded the fragmentary osteological material of the first basal synapsid from Italy, the herbivore caseid Alierasaurus ronchii, representing to date the largest known non-th...
Article
The Torre del Porticciolo fossil locality is notable for producing the first osteological material of a basal (i.e., non‐mammalian) synapsid in Italy, the giant herbivore Alierasaurus ronchii, which although known from fragmentary remains, likely represents the largest known late early to early middle Permian synapsid (6–7 m total length). Recently...
Article
In the last decades several new dinosaurs species have been described from both Laurasia and Gondwana and a complex, multi-dimensional picture of the physiology, evolution and behavior of dinosaurs has emerged. One of the central elements of new discoveries is the recognition of a complex sociality in this vertebrate clade, especially in herbivorou...