Dinosaur_Park_Formation

Dinosaur Park Formation

The Dinosaur Park Formation is the uppermost member of the Judith River Group, a major geologic unit in southern Alberta. It was laid down over a period of time between about 76.5 and 75 million years ago. The formation is made up of deposits of a high-sinuosity (anastomosing) fluvial system, and is capped by the Lethbridge Coal Beds. The formation is bounded by the Oldman Formation below it and the marine Bearpaw Formation above it (Eberth, 2005).

It is best known for the dense concentrations of dinosaur skeletons, both articulated and disarticulated, that are found there. However, other animals such as fish, turtles, and crocodilians are also abundant in the formation. The formation has been named after Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stratigraphic division of ornithischians? (Ryan and Evans, 2005)

Centrosaurus, Chasmosaurus russelli, Gryposaurus, and Corythosaurus are most common at the base of the formation, to about the middle. Styracosaurus, Chasmosaurus belli, Prosaurolophus, and Lambeosaurus lambei are most common from the middle to near the top. A new group may be present at the top, as the inland sea transgresses onto land, but there are fewer remains here. An unnamed pachyrhinosaur, Chasmosaurus irvinensis, and Lambeosaurus magnicristatus may be more common here.

Flora and fauna

Numerous types of plants and animals are known from the formation (taxonomy mostly after the relevant chapters of Currie and Koppelhus, 2005):

Palynomorphs

Palynomorphs are organic-walled microfossils, like spores, pollen, and algae (Braman and Koppelhus, 2005) Unknown producers

  • at least 8 species

Fungi

Chlorophyta (green algae and blue-green algae)

Pyrrhophyta (dinoflagellates, a type of marine algae)

Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts)

Anthocerotophyta (hornworts)
*at least 5 species
Marchantiophyta (liverworts)
*at least 14 species
Bryophyta (mosses)
* at least 5 species

Lycopodiophyta

Lycopodiaceae (club mosses)
*at least 11 species
Selaginellaceae (small club mosses)
*at least 6 species
Isoetaceae (quillworts)
*at least 1 species

Polypodiophyta

Osmundaceae (cinnamon ferns)
*at least 6 species
Schizaeaceae (climbing ferns)
*at least 20 species
Gleicheniaceae (Gleichenia and allies; coral ferns)
*at least 5 species
Cyatheaceae (Cyathea and allies)
*at least 4 species
Dicksoniaceae (Dicksonia and allies)
*at least 3 species
Polypodiaceae (ferns)
*at least 4 species
Matoniaceae
*at least 1 species
Marsileaceae
*at least 1 species

Pinophyta (gymnosperms)

Cycadaceae (cycads)
*at least 3 species
Caytoniaceae
*at least 1 species
Pinaceae (pines)
*at least 4 species
Cupressaceae (cypresses)
*at least 3 species
Podocarpaceae (Podocarpus and allies)
*at least 4 species
Cheirolepidiaceae
*at least 2 species
Ephedraceae (Mormon teas)
*at least 6 species
Unknown gymnosperms: at least 3 species

Magnoliophyta (angiosperms)

Magnoliopsida (dicots)
Buxaceae (boxwood)
*at least 1 species
Gunneraceae (gunneras)
*at least 1 species
Salicaceae (willows, cottonwood, quaking aspen)
*at least 1 species
Droseraceae (sundews)
*at least 1 species
Olacaceae (tallowwood)
*at least 2 species
Loranthaceae (showy mistletoes)
*at least 1 species
Sapindaceae (soapberry)
*at least 1 species
Aceraceae (maples)
*at least 1 species
Proteaceae (proteas)
*at least 9 species
Compositae (sunflowers)
*at least 1 species
Fagaceae (beeches, oaks, chestnuts)
*at least 2 species
Betulaceae (birches, alders)
*at least 1 species
Ulmaceae (elms)
*at least 1 species
Chenopodiaceae (goosefoots)
*at least 1 species
Liliopsida (monocots)
Liliaceae (lilies)
*at least 6 species
Cyperaceae (sedges)
*at least 1 species
Sparganiaceae (bur-reeds)
*possibly 1 species
Unknown angiosperms: at least 88 species

Plant body fossils (Koppelhus, 2005)

Gymnosperms

Ginkgos

Angiosperms

Mollusks (Johnston and Hendy, 2005)

Freshwater bivalves

  • Fusconaia
  • Lampsilis
  • Sphaerium (2 species)

Freshwater gastropods

  • Campeloma (2 species)
  • Elimia
  • Goniobasis (3 species)
  • Hydrobia
  • Lioplacodes (2 species)

Fish

Chondrichthyans (Neuman and Brinkman, 2005)

Acipenseriformes (sturgeons) (Neuman and Brinkman, 2005)

  • unnamed sturgeon
  • unnamed paddlefish

Holostean fish (Neuman and Brinkman, 2005)

Teleost fish (Neuman and Brinkman, 2005)

Amphibians (Gardner, 2005)

Albanerpetonidae (extinct, salamander-like amphibians)

Caudata (salamanders)

Salienta (frogs)

  • 2 unnamed salientans

Turtles (Brinkman, 2005)

Choristoderes

Choristoderes, or champsosaurs, were aquatic reptiles. Small examples looked like lizards, while larger types were superficially similar to crocodilians (Keqin Gao and Brinkman, 2005)

Lizards (Caldwell, 2005)

Helodermatids

Necrosaurids

Teiids

Varanids

Xenosaurids

Plesiosaurs (Sato, Eberth, Nicholls, and Manabe, 2005)

Crocodylians (Xiao-Chun Wu, 2005)

Pterosaurs (Godfrey and Currie, 2005)

  • 1 large unnamed azhdarchid (giant, long-necked pterosaur)
  • 1 smaller unnamed azhdarchid
  • 1 unnamed non-azhdarchid pterosaur

Dinosaurs

Theropoda (Currie, 2005)
Coelurosauria incertae sedis
Family unknown
*Paronychodon lacustris
*Ricardoestesia gilmorei
Tyrannosauroidea
Tyrannosauridae
*Daspletosaurus sp.
*Gorgosaurus libratus (also called Albertosaurus libratus)
Ornithomimosauria
Ornithomimidae
*Dromiceiomimus brevitertius (may be synonymous with Ornithomimus edmontonicus)
*Ornithomimus edmontonicus
*Struthiomimus altus
Maniraptora
Caenagnathidae (all of these may be species of Chirostenotes)
*Caenagnathus collinsi
*C. sternbergi
*Chirostenotes pergracilis
*Elmisaurus elegans
Avimimidae
*?indeterminate avimimid
Therizinosauridae
*?indeterminate therizinosaurid
Troodontidae
*Troodon formosus
*Troodon inequalis (formerly Stenonychosaurus) (might be synonymous with the former)
Dromaeosauridae
*Dromaeosaurus albertensis
*Saurornitholestes langstoni
Birds
*Baptornis sp.
*Cimolopteryx sp.
*Palintropus sp.
*additional indeterminate bird taxa

Ornithischia (Ryan and Evans, 2005)

Ankylosauria
Ankylosauridae
*Euoplocephalus tutus
Nodosauridae
*Edmontonia longiceps
*E. rugosidens
*Panoplosaurus mirus
Pachycephalosauria
Pachycephalosauridae
*Hanssuesia sternbergi
*Gravitholus albertae
*Ornatotholus browni (?juvenile Stegoceras)
*Stegoceras validum
*"S." breve (?Prenocephale)
Ceratopsia
*Leptoceratops sp.
Ceratopsidae
Centrosaurinae
*Centrosaurus apertus
*Monoclonius lowei
*Styracosaurus albertensis
*unnamed Pachyrhinosaurus-like taxon
Chasmosaurinae
*Anchiceratops ornatus
*Chasmosaurus belli
*C. irvinensis
*C. russelli
Ornithopoda
*at least 1 indeterminate hypsilophodont
Hadrosauridae
Hadrosaurinae
*Brachylophosaurus canadensis
*Gryposaurus notabilis
*G. incurvimanus
*Prosaurolophus maximus
Lambeosaurinae
*Corythosaurus casuarius
*Lambeosaurus lambei
*L. magnicristatus
*Parasaurolophus walkeri

Mammals (Fox, 2005)

Multituberculata

Marsupials

Placentals

Unknown therians: at least 1 species

Animalss of Dinosaur Park Formation
Taxa Presence Description Images
Genus:

Genus:

Genus:

Genus:

See also

References

  • Braman, D.R., and Koppelhus, E.B. 2005. Campanian palynomorphs. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 101-130.
  • Brinkman, D.B. 2005. Turtles: diversity, paleoecology, and distribution. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 202-220.
  • Caldwell, M.W. The squamates: origins, phylogeny, and paleoecology. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds). 2005. ‘’Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed.’’ Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 235-248.
  • Currie, P.J. 2005. Theropods, including birds. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 367-397.
  • Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds). 2005. Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 648 p.
  • Eberth, D.A. 2005. The geology. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 54-82.
  • Fox, R.C. 2005. Late Cretaceous mammals. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 417-435.
  • K. Gao and Brinkman, D.B. 2005. Choristoderes from the Park and its vicinity. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 221-234.
  • Gardner, J.D. 2005. Lissamphibians. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 186-201.
  • Godfrey, S.J., and Currie, P.J. 2005. Pterosaurs. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 292-311.
  • Johnston, P.A., and Hendy, A.J.W. 2005. Paleoecology of mollusks from the Upper Cretaceous Belly River Group. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 139-166.
  • Koppelhus, E.B. 2005. Paleobotany. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 131-138.
  • Neuman, A.G., and Brinkman, D.B. 2005. Fishes of the fluvial beds. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 167-185.
  • Ryan, M.J., and Evans, D.C. 2005. Ornithischian dinosaurs. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 312-348.
  • Sato, T., Eberth, D.A., Nicholls, E.L., and Manabe, M. 2005. Plesiosaurian remains from non-marine to paralic sediments. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed.’’ Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 249-276.
  • Xiao-Chun Wu. 2005. Crocodylians. In: Currie, P.J., and Koppelhus, E.B. (eds), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press: Bloomington and Indianapolis, 277-291.

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