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The Missouri River and its tributaries in central South Dakota have eroded into the Pierre Shale, exposing a vertical sequence of late Campanian strata, from older to younger: the Crow Creek Member of the DeGrey Formation, upper DeGrey Formation, and Verendrye Formation, deposited during the transgressive phase of the Bearpaw cyclothem.

The DeGrey Formation (Baculites compressus Ammonite Range Zone) is predominantly gray bentonitic shale with interbeds of thin and relatively pure cream-colored bentonite and bioturbated, fossiliferous black manganese-iron carbonate concretions. Fossils are molds, casts, and fragmented shell material from a diverse epifauna of marine bivalve mollusks dominated by byssate, cemented, and unattached inoce-ramids, and ostreids. Inoceramids include Inoceramus convexus Hall and Meek, I. perplexus Whitfield, I. pertenuis Meek and Hayden, I. proximus Tuomey, I. sagensis Whitfield, I. tenuilineatus Hall and Meek, Platyceramus vanuxemi (Meek and Hayden), and Endocostea barabini (Morton). The larger specimens are commonly encrusted with the oyster Pseudoperna congesta (Conrad). Ostrea patina Meek and Hayden, a solitary oyster, is also present. External casts of articulated valves of Pholadomya hodgii Meek, a burrower-borer, are abundant as are those of Pteria (Pseudopteria) sublevis Whitfield, P. linguaeformis (Evans and Shumard), and P. sp. B. Anomia subtrigonalis Meek and Hayden and A. oblique Meek and Hayden complete the bivalve fauna. Less abundant are the gastropods Anisomyon borealis Morton, A. shumardi Meek and Hayden, Ampullina? paludinaeformis Sohl, and Acmaea occidentalis (Hall and Meek). The Late Campanian ammonite index fossils Baculites compressus Say, and Jeletzkytes nodosus (Owen) and J. brevis (Meek), are abundant.

Bivalves of the DeGrey Formation lived on a low-energy substrate where bentonite-rich clay was accumulating. Abundant epifauna and extensive bioturbation of the manganese-iron carbonate concretions suggest aerobic conditions. Adjacent deeper, anoxic basin waters periodically transported iron and manganese upward into the oxic zone, where it was precipitated with carbonate. The fragmentary nature of most of the bivalve shells, disruption of the sediment, and abundance of possible coprolitic material suggest predation by sediment-probing and shell-crushing predators.

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