Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages

Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages

Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/17/2008
Format: Hardback 67 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-34927-9
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This volume presents state-of-the-art papers on important topics and methods in the analysis of vertebrate microfossil assemblages. The minute remains of animals and plants have proven very useful to paleontologists as tools for dating large fossils, describing the environments which existed at the time the fossils were deposited, and identifying and mapping the extent of local floras and faunas, among other things. Due to the large sample sizes that can be obtained, the chance to recover rare taxa is much higher than it is during a search for skeletal remains. Analysis of the data produced from microvertebrate localities can address a wide range of questions as these papers clearly demonstrate.

Author Bio

Julia T. Sankey is Associate Professor of Geology in the Department of Physics and Geology at California State University in Stanislaus.

Sven Baszio is a paleontologist at the University of Bonn, Germany.


For several decades the study of vertebrate microfaunas has contributed greatly to our understanding of the evolution and paleobiology of fossil vertebrates. Despite the importance of such studies, the discipline has perhaps been viewed as slightly out of the mainstream. This is the first time that microfaunal studies have coalesced into a single volume. Hopefully it is a harbinger of an intellectual maturation, the coming-of-age of a discipline.

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Table of Contents

Preface. Sven Baszio

Part 1. Importance of Microvertebrate Sites, Sampling, Statistical Methods, and Taphonomy

1. Information from Microvertebrate Localities: Potentials and Limits Sven Baszio
2. How Much Is Enough? A Repeatable, Efficient, and Controlled Sampling Protocol for Assessing Taxonomic Diversity and Abundance in Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages Heather A. Jamniczky, Donald B. Brinkman, and Anthony P. Russell
3. Taphonomic Issues Relating to Concentrations of Pedogenic Nodules and Vertebrates in the Paleocene and Miocene Gulf Coastal Plain: Examples from Texas and Louisiana, USA Judith A. Schiebout, Paul D. White, and Grant S. Boardman

Part 2. Guild Analysis, Ecological and Faunal Analyses, Biodiversity, and Paleobiogeography

4. The Structure of Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian) Nonmarine Aquatic Communities: A Guild Analysis of Two Vertebrate Microfossil Localities in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Donald Brinkman
5. Vertebrate Paleoecology from Microsites, Talley Mountain, Upper Aguja Formation (Late Cretaceous), Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA Julia T. Sankey
6. Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrate Paleocommunities of the Mesaverde Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Campanian) of the Wind River and Bighorn Basins, Wyoming, USA
David G. DeMar Jr. and Brent H. Breithaupt
7. Lack of Variability in Feeding Patterns of the Sauropod Dinosaurs Diplodocus and Camarasaurus (Late Jurassic, Western USA) with Respect to Climate as Indicated by Tooth Wear Features Anthony R. Fiorillo
8. Diversity of Latest Cretaceous (Late Maastrichtian) Small Theropods and Birds: Teeth from the Lance and Hell Creek Formations, USA Julia T. Sankey
9. Small Theropod Teeth from the Lance Formation of Wyoming, USA Nick Longrich
10. The First Serrated Bird Tooth Philip J. Currie and Clive Coy
11. First Dinosaur Eggshells from Texas, USA: Aguja Formation (Late Campanian), Big Bend National Park Ed Welsh and Juli

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