In midcontinent North America, the Fox Hills Formation (Upper Cretaceous, upper Maastrichtian) preserves the last marine faunas in the central Western Interior Seaway (WIS). Neritoptyx hogansoni new species, a small littoral snail, exhibited allometric change from smooth to corded ornament and rounded to shouldered shape during growth. Specimens preserve a zig-zag pigment pattern that changes to an axial pattern during growth. Neritoptyx hogansoni new species was preyed on by decapod crustaceans, and spent shells were occupied by pagurid crabs. Dead mollusk shells, particularly those of Crassostrea subtrigonalis (Evans and Shumard, 1857), provided a hard substrate to which they adhered on the Fox Hills tidal flats. This new neritimorph gastropod establishes a paleogeographic and chronostratigraphic proxy for intertidal conditions on the Dakota Isthmus during the late Maastrichtian. Presence of a neritid extends the marine tropical/temperate boundary in the WIS northward to ~44° late Maastrichtian paleolatitude. Late Maastrichtian closure of the isthmus subsequently altered marine heat transfer by interrupting northward flow of tropical currents from the Gulf Coast by as much as 1 to 1.5 million years before the Cretaceous ended.


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