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Late Devonian paleontology and paleoenvironments at Red Hill and other fossil sites in the Catskill Formation of north-central Pennsylvania

By
Edward B. Daeschler
Edward B. Daeschler
Vertebrate Paleontology, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103, USA
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Walter L. Cressler, III
Walter L. Cressler, III
Francis Harvey Green Library, 25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The stratified red beds of the Catskill Formation are conspicuous in road cut exposures on the Allegheny Plateau of north-central Pennsylvania. During this field trip we will visit and explore several fossil localities within the Catskill Formation. These sites have been central to recent investigations into the nature of Late Devonian continental ecosystems. By the Late Devonian, forests were widespread within seasonally well-watered depositional basins and the spread of plants on land from the late Silurian through the Devonian set the stage for the radiation of animals in both freshwater and terrestrial settings. A diverse assemblage of flora and fauna has been recovered from the Catskill Formation including progymnosperms, lycopsids, spermatophytes, zygopterid and stauripterid ferns, barinophytes, invertebrates and invertebrate traces, and vertebrates such as placoderms, acanthodians, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians, and a variety of sarcopterygians including early tetrapods. Since the early 1990s, highway construction projects along the Route 15 (Interstate 99) have provided a new opportunity for exploration of the Catskill Formation in Lycoming and Tioga counties. The faunas along Route 15 are dominated by Bothriolepis sp. and Holoptychius sp. and also include Sauripterus taylori and an assortment of other interesting records. The most productive Catskill site, and the source of early tetrapod remains, is Red Hill in Clinton County. Red Hill presents a diverse and unique flora and fauna that is distinct from Route 15 sites, and also provides a spectacular section of the alluvial plain deposits of the Duncannon Member of the Catskill Formation.

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GSA Field Guide

From the Shield to the Sea

Richard M. Ruffolo
Richard M. Ruffolo
GAI Consultants, Inc. Pittsburgh Office 385 East Waterfront Drive Homestead, Pennsylvania 15120-5005 USA
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Charles N. Ciampaglio
Charles N. Ciampaglio
Wright State Universityâ?"Lake Campus 7600 Lake Campus Drive Celina, Ohio 45822 USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
20
ISBN electronic:
9780813756202
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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