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Modern amphibians (lissamphibians) are highly sensitive indicators of environmental disturbance. As such, fossil lissamphibians are an excellent model for testing causal hypotheses of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction and secondary effects of Deccan volcanism and a bolide impact (e.g., acid rain). We quantitatively analyzed high-resolution temporal changes in diversity and community structure of a succession of salamander and salamander-like lissamphibian assemblages from the Hell Creek Formation and Tullock Member of the Fort Union Formation of Garfield County, northeastern Montana (ca. 67.5–65.3 Ma). Richness, evenness, and taxonomic composition remained stable through the lower Hell Creek Formation. Peak richness (11 species) occurred in the middle of the formation coincident with a short-term drop in evenness. Following a return to preexisting levels of evenness, diversity progressively declined in the upper third of the formation. This pattern reflects plummeting relative abundances of Scapherpeton tectum and a stepwise disappearance of five species, of which three represent extirpation (33%) and two represent extinction (22%). These results suggest that ecological instability increased in the local fauna during the last ~400 k.y. of the Cretaceous. Temporal correlation with local, regional, and global changes in other aspects of the terrestrial (mammals, plants) and marine (planktonic foraminifera, mollusks) biota and environment (volcanism, paleotemperature) implies a global phenomenon (late Maastrichtian event). The post–Cretaceous-Paleogene “survival” fauna from the lowermost Tullock Member was taxonomically depauperate and predominated by the “bloom taxon” Opisthotriton kayi. Together, our results lend growing support in favor of a complex multiple-cause scenario for the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event.

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