Taphonomy and taxonomy of a vertebrate microsite in the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) Blackleaf Formation, southwest Montana

Paul V. Ullmann, David Varricchio, Michael J. Knell

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-328
Number of pages18
JournalHistorical Biology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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