Abstract

A well-prepared anterior half of an amiid skull from the Late Paleocene Paskapoo Formation of south-central Alberta is described. The specimen is either very closely related to, or conspecific with, Amia pattersoniGrande and Bemis, 1998, from the Early Eocene Green River Formation of Wyoming. We leave the specimen as Amia cf. pattersoni until additional material is found to further clarify its relationships. Amia cf. pattersoni is the oldest known specimen clearly identifiable as belonging to the genus Amia (sensu Grande and Bemis, 1998), and the Paskapoo species extends the known geographic range of Amia both northward and westward. The fish assemblage of the Paskapoo Formation represents the most diverse freshwater Paleocene fish fauna known from North America. Based on comparisons of sample size and relative taxonomic diversity to the better known Green River Formation localities of Wyoming, we predict that further collecting will substantially increase the known diversity of the Paskapoo fauna. The Paskapoo Formation, therefore, has great potential to continue adding to the meager knowledge of pre-Eocene freshwater teleost diversity in North America.

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