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Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North America

Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North America: Biostratigraphy and Geochronology

Edited by Michael O. Woodburne
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 400
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  • Book Info
    Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic Mammals of North America
    Book Description:

    This book places into modern context the information by which North American mammalian paleontologists recognize, divide, calibrate, and discuss intervals of mammalian evolution known as North American Land Mammal Ages. It incorporates new information on the systematic biology of the fossil record and utilizes the many recent advances in geochronologic methods and their results.

    The book describes the increasingly highly resolved stratigraphy into which all available temporally significant data and applications are integrated. Extensive temporal coverage includes the Lancian part of the Late Cretaceous, and geographical coverage includes information from Mexico, an integral part of the North American fauna, past and present.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50378-5
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Paleontology, General Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Michael O. Woodburne
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Definitions
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    Michael O. Woodburne

    The chronologic framework of the present book remains the North American mammal age concept articulated by Wood et al. (1941) and Savage (1951) and displayed in a great variety of sources, including Woodburne (1987), hereafter identified as the 1987 volume. It is taken as given that practitioners of stratigraphic paleontology or stratigraphic paleobiology recognize and embrace the principle of paleontological correlation (Smith 1815, 1817) and of Steno’s (1669) principles of superposition, original horizontality, and original continuity of strata so that the rock record can be used to order the succession of mammalian (and other) taxa and serve as an empirical...

  7. 1 Principles and Procedures
    (pp. 1-20)
    Michael O. Woodburne

    A discussion of the principles and procedures in methodology and the goal of producing a time scale based on the evolution of fossil mammals that contains neither gaps nor overlaps is as pertinent now as it was in 1987 or, indeed, in 1941 (Wood et al. 1941). Whether or not it is formally identified as biostratigraphy, students of mammalian chronology in North America have continually worked to improve the stratigraphic framework associated with fossil mammals and to integrate it with other chronologic information. Although still biochrons, mammal ages and subdivisions have become stratigraphically assisted (stratigraphically characterized but not defined) to...

  8. 2 Mammalian Biochronology of the Latest Cretaceous
    (pp. 21-42)
    Richard L. Cifelli, Jaelyn J. Eberle, Donald L. Lofgren, Jason A. Lillegraven and William A. Clemens

    Mammalian diversification, in both the ecologic and taxonomic senses, sharply increased in the early Tertiary. Consideration of Late Cretaceous assemblages therefore provides essential background to interpretation of the great evolutionary radiations that followed. Most relevant in this connection is the Lancian land mammal age, which preceded the Puercan and is the focus of this summary. However, the Lancian itself must be viewed in the context of preceding land mammal ages and assemblages that have not yet been assigned to a land mammal age. Particularly significant problems remain in identifying the beginning of the Lancian, biochronologically and chronostratigraphically. For this reason,...

  9. 3 Paleocene Biochronology: The Puercan Through Clarkforkian Land Mammal Ages
    (pp. 43-105)
    Donald L. Lofgren, Jason A. Lillegraven, William A. Clemens, Philip D. Gingerich and Thomas E. Williamson

    Paleocent continental strata of the Western Interior of North America preserve the world’s most complete and most thoroughly studied record of early Cenozoic mammalian evolution. We examine this record. Our examination updates and amplifies earlier ones, specifically Wood et al. (1941) and Archibald et al. (1987) on the first four North American land mammal ages (NALMAs) of the Cenozoic era: the Puercan, Torrejonian, Tiffanian, and Clarkforkian. For brevity, we refer to these as NALMAs or individually as mammal ages. Wood et al. (1941) recognized a fifth mammal age, the Dragonian, between the Puercan and Torrejonian mammal ages. Van Valen (1978)...

  10. 4 Wasatchian Through Duchesnean Biochronology
    (pp. 106-155)
    Peter Robinson, Gregg F. Gunnell, Stephen L. Walsh, William C. Clyde, John E. Storer, Richard K. Stucky, David J. Froehlich, Ismael Ferrusquia-Villafranca and Malcolm C. McKenna

    The previous edition of this chapter (Krishtalka et al.1987) assembled much information about the areal distribution and biochronology of the continental rocks and faunas representing the Wasatchian through Duchesnean North American land mammal ages (NALMAs). That edition detailed the history of the classification of terrestrial rocks, particularly of western North America, and included some information on radioisotopic and paleomagnetic determinations. This revision concentrates on the inclusion of new data and includes expanded information concerning Mexico and Canada. We introduce new information about radioisotopic ages and paleomagnetic correlations. Wherever possible, we include data from unpublished sources and do not repeat data...

  11. 5 The Chadronian, Orellan, and Whitneyan North American Land Mammal Ages
    (pp. 156-168)
    Donald R. Prothero and Robert J. Emry

    In the 16 years since emry, bjork, and Russell (1987) reviewed the Chadronian,Orellan, and Whitneyan land mammal ages for the original version of this volume, an enormous amount of information has been published concerning this interval of time. Many of the crucial sections have been studied by means of magnetic stratigraphy, and many new 40 Ar/39Ar dates have been analyzed, which have radically changed our concept of the correlation of these beds (Swisher and Prothero 1990; Prothero and Swisher 1992; Prothero 1996b; Prothero and Whittlesey 1998). Systematic reviews of most of the biostratigraphically informative taxa have been completed (see chapters...

  12. 6 Mammalian Biochronology of the Arikareean Through Hemphillian Interval (Late Oligocene Through Early Pliocene Epochs)
    (pp. 169-231)
    Richard H. Tedford, L. Barry Albright III, Anthony D. Barnosky, Ismael Ferrusquia-Villafranca, Robert M. Hunt Jr., John E. Storer, Carl C. Swisher III, Michael R. Voorhies, S. David Webb and David P. Whistler

    In this chapter, as in its predecessor (Tedford et al. 1987), we review the most important evidence bearing on the chronologic succession of the North American mammal faunas as revealed by stratigraphic superposition and biological correlation. The assembled record is calibrated by reference to the radioisotope ages of volcanic rocks interbedded with fossil mammal-bearing deposits (see “Appendix”) or by reference of magnetostratigraphies containing fossil mammals to the Geomagnetic Polarity Time Scale (GPTS). The wealth of new geochronologic data gives this treatment further rigor and guides the biochronology across zoogeographic discontinuities. This is easily seen in comparing the correlation charts in...

  13. 7 The Blancan, Irvingtonian, and Rancholabrean Mammal Ages
    (pp. 232-314)
    Christopher J. Bell, Ernest L. Lundelius Jr., Anthony D. Barnosky, Russell W. Graham, Everett H. Lindsay, Dennis R. Ruez Jr., Holmes A. Semken Jr., S. David Webb and Richard J. Zakrzewski

    This chapter examines the last three North American land mammal ages of the Cenozoic: the Blancan, Irvingtonian, and Rancholabrean. It also incorporates the arvicoline rodent biochronology that was a separate chapter in the first edition of this volume (Repenning 1987). These mammal ages encompass approximately the last 5 million years and span most of the Pliocene and all of the Pleistocene (the latest Hemphillian is part Pliocene and is covered by Tedford et al., chapter 6, this volume). Vertebrate faunas from these epochs are known from several thousand localities in North America and are distributed over a wider geographic area...

  14. 8 Global Events and the North American Mammalian Biochronology
    (pp. 315-344)
    Michael O. Woodburne

    Fischer (1984) introduces the concept of icehouse and greenhouse worlds to generalize global climatic settings in which glaciations were either preeminent or virtually absent. In the icehouse world, levels of atmospheric CO2would be those of preindustrial levels of this century; mean annual sea and land temperatures would be depressed; there would be greater poleward negative gradients in temperature and severity in climatic zonations; convective oceanic circulation would be active, with highly oxygenated oceans; and conditions would be conducive for the development of land and sea ice. In the greenhouse world, atmospheric CO2levels would be substantially greater than now; polar temperatures...

  15. Systematic Index
    (pp. 345-362)
  16. Subject Index
    (pp. 363-392)