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Mammalian extinction, survival, and recovery dynamics across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in northeastern Montana, USA

Gregory P. Wilson
Mammalian extinction, survival, and recovery dynamics across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in northeastern Montana, USA (in Through the end Cretaceous in the the type locality of the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and adjacent areas, Gregory P. Wilson (editor), William A. Clemens (editor), John R. Horner (editor) and Joseph H. Hartman (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (January 2014) 503: 365-392

Abstract

The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary marks a critical event in mammalian evolution. Using a database of 4769 mammalian specimens from the Hell Creek and lower Fort Union formations of Garfield County, northeastern Montana, I quantified temporal patterns of diversity and community structure to evaluate faunal dynamics during the last approximately 1.9 m.y. of the Cretaceous, the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction and survival, and the first approximately 1.2 m.y. of the early Paleocene recovery and placental radiation. Mammalian taxonomic composition and species richness remained relatively stable for most of the last approximately 1.9 m.y. of the Cretaceous, but the relative abundance of metatherians and evenness of paleocommunities began declining approximately 500-600 k.y. before the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The ecological instability implied by falling evenness may be linked to the local extinction of 75% of species at or near the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The early Puercan (Pu1) survival fauna from the first approximately 100-200 k.y. of the Paleocene is species poor and consists of a few local "bloom taxa" and an influx of immigrants. The species-rich mid/late Puercan (Pu2/3) fauna implies mammalian recovery occurred within approximately 600-700 k.y. of the Cretaceous-Paleogene event. The Pu2/3 and early Torrejonian (To1) faunas signal the beginning of the placental radiation--"bloom taxa" and multituberculates waned, richness and abundance of "archaic ungulates" and plesiadapiform primates increased, and the first appearance of taeniodonts, pantodonts, and possibly creodonts expanded the ecological diversity of local faunas. Together, the decoupled patterns of richness and relative abundances reveal the complexity of faunal dynamics during this seminal episode in mammalian history.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 503
Title: Mammalian extinction, survival, and recovery dynamics across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in northeastern Montana, USA
Title: Through the end Cretaceous in the the type locality of the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and adjacent areas
Author(s): Wilson, Gregory P.
Author(s): Wilson, Gregory P.editor
Author(s): Clemens, William A.editor
Author(s): Horner, John R.editor
Author(s): Hartman, Joseph H.editor
Affiliation: University of Washington, Department of Biology, Seattle, WA, United States
Affiliation: University of Washington, Department of Biology, Seattle, WA, United States
Pages: 365-392
Published: 201401
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-8137-2503-1
References: 147
Accession Number: 2015-026156
Categories: Vertebrate paleontologyStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, sketch map
N46°52'60" - N47°58'00", W107°57'00" - W106°04'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of California, Berkeley, USA, United StatesMontana State University, USA, United StatesUniversity of North Dakota, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201513
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