Skip to Main Content

Ceratopsid dinosaurs are notable for their common occurrences in bonebeds; however, until recently, these have not been encountered for the chasmosaurine Triceratops. The aim of this investigation is to describe the taphonomy of Quittin' Time (Museum of the Rockies locality HC-430), a Triceratops bonebed in the Hell Creek Formation, Garfield County, Montana. Using site taphonomic descriptions with an evaluation of ontogeny, inferences regarding the paleobiology of this extinct taxon are possible. The locality is associated with abundant organic material, including woody debris, large seeds, and other fragments in isolated silty lenses, all incorporated within a siltstone matrix, indicating preservation within a floodplain environment. Based on the repetition and ontogenetic stages of cranial elements, the minimum number of individuals (MNI) is three. Evidence from the location and taphonomic condition of the bones preserved in close proximity within the same siltstone unit suggests that the individuals—one young adult, one subadult, and a juvenile—likely accumulated during distinct flooding events within a narrow region of the floodplain as a result of “bloat-and-float” transport. The relatively small scale of the bonebed, both in terms of total area and number of individuals, implies that future work on Triceratops sites requires careful scrutiny of cranial elements examined within an ontogenetic framework because they are potentially critical to establishing MNI. Preservation of multiple individuals within the same unit does not necessarily provide evidence of gregarious behavior in Triceratops but rather may be a reflection of site taphonomic history and accumulation processes.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.

Figures & Tables

Contents

References

Related

Citing Books via

Related Book Content
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal