The vertebrate fauna of the Cretaceous Blackleaf Formation of southwest Montana remains largely undocumented. A microsite (BL1) discovered in the Flood Member in the Lima Peaks area, Montana, consists of a green siltstone and yields taxa previously unreported from the formation, including several dinosaurs: a hypsilophodont, dromaeosaurid, tyrannosauroid, hadrosaurid and an ankylosaurian. Non-dinosaurian taxa include goniopholidid and Bernissartia crocodilians; Glyptops, cf. chelydrid and other turtles and at least two neopterygiian fish. This diversity corresponds well with the fluvial-deltaic-estuarine environment interpreted for the uppermost unit of the Flood Member. Taphonomic data and sedimentologic relationships suggest that this assemblage represents a floodplain depression accumulation. Comparisons with contemporaneous faunas from around the Western Interior of the USA suggest a remarkably consistent faunal makeup, at least at the family level, existed across western North America in the mid-Cretaceous.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)