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Parque Provincial Reserva Natural Valle de la Luna (Ischigualasto), Valle Fértil Department, San Juan, Argentina

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Elevation: 1,150 m. asl.
Important geological and fossiliferous reserve of Argentina located partly in the provinces of La Rioja and San Juan.
The region is known as "Moon Valley" or "Valle de la Luna" in spanish.
Intense erosion acting on these regions, makes the sedimentary layers are destroyed slowly, giving opportunity to the fossil remains which may be found.
Curious silica concrescions rolled of different diameters are part of the provincial park and resemble a "bowling Court".
Opal, Wood opal and remains of petrified trees were also found.

The Ischigualasto Provincial Park Natural, located in the northeast of the province of San Juan, is one of the reserves geological - paleontological most important of the Argentina. Within its boundaries is an uninterrupted succession of continental strata corresponding to all of the Triassic period. "Ischichuca" and "Los Rastros", from the middle Triassic formations constitute an important reservoir of plants, amphibians and invertebrate fossils. The basis of the "Ischigualasto formation", from the upper Triassic - dated at 228 million years has provided a collection of most important paleovertebrates of the world for this period and shows a unique event as it is the replacement of the therapsids by the archosaurs. The most important fossils found in this formation include the oldest and most primitive dinosaurs that are known, a very important range of archosaurs cocodriloformes and the last important Association of cinodontes and dicinodontes therapsids. The "Los Colorados formation", representing the highest part of the Triassic period, has provided a very rich diversity of paleovertebrates, which allows to check that towards the upper Triassic, Jurassic affinity paleofaunistics associations were already defined, at least for this sector of Gondwana.

Mineral List

7 entries listed. 2 valid minerals.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Acosta, J., F. Murúa y A. Moneta, 1997. Lista de Vertebrados del Parque Natural Ischigualasto, San Juan- Argentina. VIII Congreso Iberoam. Biodiversidad y Zool. Vert., Concepción, Chile.

Administración de Parques Nacionales, Gobierno de San Juan y Fundación Ambientalista Sanjuanina, 1985. Sistema Provincial de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. Inf. Inéd. Buenos Aires.

Bernades, A. 1982. Provincia de San Juan. En: Atlas Total de la República Argentina. Centro Editor de América Latina. Geografía Física I. Buenos Aires.

Burkart, R., Bárbaro, N. O., Sánchez, R.O. y D.A. Gómez. 1999. Eco-Regiones de La Argentina. Secretaría de Recursos Naturales y Desarrollo sustentable y Administración de Parques Nacionales. Buenos Aires.

Cabrera, A .L. y A. Willink, 1980. Biogeografía de América Latina, Monografía Científica N† 13, Serie de Biología, OEA,

Erize, F., J. C. Chebez. 1993. El Gran Libro de la Naturaleza Argentina. Ed. Atlantida

Fauna Argentina, 1983 a 1987. Fascículos varios. Centro Editor de América Latina. Buenos aires.

Leanza, A.F. 1958. Geología regional. En: La Argentina. Suma de Geografía. T. I Peuser. Buenos Aires.

Mpodozis, C. y Ramos, V. 1989. The Andes of Chile and Argentina. En Geology of the Andes and its relation to hydrocarbon and mineral Resourses: Huston, Textas, Circum-pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resourses Earth Science Series, Vol. 11 (Cap. 5).

Mpodozis, C. y Kay, S.M. (1990). Provincias Magmáticas Acidas y Evolución Tectónica de Godnwana: Andes Chilenos (28-31 S). Revista Geológica de Chile, Vol. 17 N† 2.

Murúa, A. F., J.C. Acosta y G. Ortiz, 1997. Fauna de Vertebrados de los valles del Tulum, Ullum y Zonda (San Juan - Argentina). En: Atlas Socioeconómico Digital de San Juan, Centro de Fotogrametría y Catastro. Facultad de Ingeniería. UNSJ.

Polanski, J. (1970). Carbonífero y Pérmico de la Argentina. Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires (Eudeba).

Ramos, V. 1996. Geología de la Región de Aconcagua: Provincias de San Juan y Mendoza

Redford, K y J. Eisenberg, 1992. Mammals of the Neotropics. Vol. 2. The University of Chicago Press.

Eduardo G. Ottone, Adriana C. Mancuso and Magdalena Resano. Ameghiniana v.42 n.2 Buenos Aires mar./jun. 2005. Miospores and chlorococcalean algae from the Los Rastros Formation, Middle to Upper Triassic of central-western Argentina. Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Pabellón n° 2, Ciudad Universitaria, C1428EHA Buenos Aires, Argentina. ottone@gl.fcen.uba.ar , amancu@gl.fcen.uba.ar, magdaresano@yahoo.com

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