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GEOREF RECORD

Origins of dinosaur bonebeds in the Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada

David A. Eberth
Origins of dinosaur bonebeds in the Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada (in Papers commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, James D. Gardner (editor), Donald M. Henderson (editor) and Francois Therrien (editor))
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Revue Canadienne des Sciences de la Terre (August 2015) 52 (8): 655-681

Abstract

Upper Cretaceous dinosaur bonebeds are common in Alberta, Canada, and have attracted continuous scientific attention since the 1960s. Since its inception, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology has documented the presence of hundreds of these sites and has been involved directly in the scientific study of many tens. Because many of these bonebeds have been used to address questions about the paleobiology and paleoecology of dinosaurs, questions have arisen about bonebed origins and preservation in the Cretaceous of Alberta. This study of 260 bonebeds delineates broad paleoenvironmental settings and associations, and taphonomic signatures of assemblages as a first step in assessing patterns of dinosaur bonebed origins in the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta. Bonebeds are known predominantly from the Belly River Group and the Horseshoe Canyon, lower St. Mary River, Wapiti, and Scollard formations. In these units, bonebeds are mostly associated with river channel and alluvial wetland settings that were influenced by a subtropical to warm-temperate, monsoonal climate. Most bonebeds formed in response to flooding events capable of killing dinosaurs, reworking and modifying skeletal remains, and burying taphocoenoses. The "coastal-plain-flooding hypothesis," proposed in 2005, suggested that many bonebeds in the Dinosaur Park Formation formed in response to the effects of recurring coastal-plain floods that submerged vast areas of ancient southern Alberta on a seasonal basis. It remains the best mechanism to explain how many of the bonebeds were formed and preserved at Dinosaur Provincial Park, and here, is proposed as the mechanism that best explains bonebed origins in other Upper Cretaceous formations across central and southern Alberta.


ISSN: 0008-4077
EISSN: 1480-3313
Coden: CJESAP
Serial Title: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Revue Canadienne des Sciences de la Terre
Serial Volume: 52
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Origins of dinosaur bonebeds in the Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada
Title: Papers commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
Author(s): Eberth, David A.
Author(s): Gardner, James D.editor
Author(s): Henderson, Donald M.editor
Author(s): Therrien, Francoiseditor
Affiliation: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, AB, Canada
Affiliation: Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, AB, Canada
Pages: 655-681
Published: 201508
Text Language: English
Summary Language: French
Publisher: National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
References: 95
Accession Number: 2016-005565
Categories: Vertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. cols., 1 table, geol. sketch map
N50°00'00" - N56°00'00", W119°00'00" - W111°00'00"
Country of Publication: Canada
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201603
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