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Fossil Birds from the Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Province, Egypt
D. Tab Rasmussen, Storrs L. Olson and Elwyn L. Simons
20 pages, 15 figures
1987 (Date of Issue: 1 December 1987)
Number 62, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.62.1
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Abstract

Fossils from fluvial deposits of early Oligocene age in Egypt document the earliest known diverse avifauna from Africa, comprising at least 13 families and 18 species. Included are the oldest fossil records of the Musophagidae (turacos), Pandionidae (ospreys), Jacanidae (jacanas), and Balaenicipitidae (shoebilled storks). Other families represented are the Accipitridae (hawks and eagles), Rallidae (rails), Gruidae (cranes), Phoenicopteridae (flamingos), Ardeidae (herons), Ciconiidae (storks), and Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants). A highly distinctive rostrum is described as a new family, Xenerodiopidae, probably most closely related to herons. A humerus lacking the distal end is tentatively referred to the same family. Two new genera and three species of large to very large jacanas are described from the distal ends of tarsometatarsi. This Oligocene avifauna resembles that of modern tropical African assemblages. The habitat preferences of the constituent species of birds indicate a tropical, swampy, vegetation-choked, fresh-water environment at the time of deposition.


Fossil Spatangoid Echinoids of Cuba
Porter M. Kier
336 pages, 45 figures, 90 plates, 6 tables
1984 (Date of Issue: 21 March 1984)
Number 55, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.55.1
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Abstract

The fossil spatangoid echinoids of Cuba are described based for the most part on specimens in the Sánchez Roig Collection. Seventy-nine species are recognized including 10 from the Late Cretaceous, 36 from the Eocene, 20 from the Oligocene-Miocene, 11 from the Miocene, and 2 of uncertain age. Three of the Eocene species are new: Schizaster formelli, Linthia monteroae, and Antillaster albeari. A new genus of schizasterid is described, Caribbaster, with the Eocene Prenaster loveni Cotteau as the type-species. A new Asterostoma, A. pawsoni, is described from the Eocene of Jamaica.

The Eocene age of the Cuban echinoid-bearing localities is confirmed by the presence outside Cuba of many of the same species in beds dated on other fossils. Some evidence supports the Miocene determinations, but the echinoids are of little assistance in resolving the question whether the Cuban beds attributed to the Oligocene are Oligocene or Miocene. Cuban, and in general, the Caribbean Tertiary echinoid faunas are distinct from those in Europe and the Mediterranean. Many genera are confined to the Caribbean. The Cuban fauna is also different from that found nearby in Florida. This difference may be due to a suggested greater depth of water in Cuba.

Se describen los equinoideos espatangoideos de Cuba, incluyendo los especímenes de la Colección Sánchez Roig. Se reconocen setena y ocho especies: 10 del Cretáceo Superior, 36 del Eoceno, 20 del Oligo-Mioceno, 11 del Mioceno, y 2 cuya edad no se ha determinado con certeza. Tres de las especies del Eoceno son neuvas: Schizaster formelli, Linthia monteroae, y Antillaster albeari. Se establece un nuevo género de schizasterid, Caribbaster, y se elige a Prenaster loveni Cotteau, del Eoceno, como especie-tipo. También se describe una nueva especie de Asterostoma, A. pawsoni, del Eoceno de Jamaica.

La edad de los equinoideos cubanos del Eoceno ha sido confirmada por la presencia, en foraciones de áreas fuera de Cuba, de muchas de las mismas especies en localidades donde se hallan otros fósiles del Eoceno. Las determinaciones del Mioceno están basadas en ciertas evidencias, sin embargo, los equinoideos ofrecen poca ayuda para dilucidar la cuetión de si las formaciones cubanas que se atribuyen al Oligoceno son de este período o del Mioceno. Las faunas de equinoideos del Terciario de Cuba, y en general del Caribe, son muy distintas a las de Europa y del Mediterráneo. Muchos géneros están confinados al Caribe y la fauna cubana es, asimismo, muy diferente a la que se encuentra en la cercana Florida. Esta diferencia puede ser debida a la mayor profunidad, según se ha sugerido, de las aguas de Cuba.


Fossil Vertebrates from the Bahamas
Storrs L. Olson, editor
65 pages, 12 figures, 12 tables
1982 (Date of Issue: 5 August 1982)
Number 48, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
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Abstract

The three papers in this volume summarize the previous literature on fossil vertebrates from the Bahamas, provide revisions of the previously described fossil specimens, include identifications of newly collected material, and discuss changes in the late Pleistocene environment of the Bahaman archipelago. Olson and Pregill review the history of fossil exploration in the Bahamas, describe the known fossil localities, and briefly discuss the depauperate mammalian fauna. Pregill reviews the Pleistocene herpetofauna of New Providence Island, which is similar to that found on the island today, the only extinct taxa being a tortoise (Geochelone), a crocodile (Crocodylus), an iguana (Cyclura), and a gecko of the genus Aristelliger (previously misidentified as Tarentola). Taphonomy of the New Providence deposits and the zoogeographical patterns of the herpetofauna are discussed in relation to arid climatic conditions of the Wisconsinan glacial period. It is suggested that the establishment of a north-south rainfall gradient within the Bahamas has caused more extinctions in the wetter northern islands, whereas a more diverse herpetofauna persists in the drier southern islands. Olson and Hilgartner review the fossil record of birds from the Bahamas and propose the following changes in nomenclature: Calohierax quadratus = Buteo sp., Burhinus nanus = Burhinus bistriatus nanus, Glaucidium dickinsoni = Athene cunicularia, Otus providentiae = Athene cunicularia, Bathoceleus hyphalus = Melanerpes superciliaris, Corvus wetmorei = Corvus nasicus. About 50% of the fossil avifauna of New Providence no longer occurs there and 40% is extinct in the Bahamas. Species composition indicates that the Bahamas in the late Pleistocene were drier and had more open savanna-like and broadleaf scrub habitats. Subsequent increases in rainfall caused habitat changes that resulted in extinction. The implications of this for modern ecological theories are discussed.


Functional Morphology and Biofacies Distribution of Cheilostome Bryozoa in the Danian Stage (Paleocene) of Southern Scandinavia
Alan H. Cheetham
87 pages, 29 figures, 17 plates, 10 tables
1971 (Date of Issue: 27 September 1971)
Number 6, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.6.1
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Abstract

Highly diversified assemblages of cheilostome Bryozoa in the Danian Stage of southern Sweden and Denmark represent the culmination of primarily divergent evolutionary trends originating in the first appearance of the group in Early Cretaceous time. Functional relationships between colony and zooid morphology are less likely to have been obscured by vestigial structures and convergent and parallel evolution in these assemblages than in later Cenozoic faunas. The Danian assemblages, then, provide a test of the hypothesis that, in the early evolution of cheilostomes, environmentally correlated variation in the form of colonies depended functionally upon the structure of their component zooids.

Theoretically, the rigidly erect growth form should have an adaptive advantage over the presumed ancestral encrusting form, by virtue of a vastly increased potential zooid density relative to substrate occupied. A rigidly erect colony must be able to resist stresses induced by vertical loading, bending, and twisting and thus appears to require calcified walls, especially on the frontal sides of its zooids. Given the constraints imposed by the cheilostome mode of growing and calcifying zooid walls and of operating the hydrostatic system, zooid morphotypes can be relatively graded for efficiency in structural support of the colony by the degree to which their joint calcification approaches a laterally merging, continuously thickening, distally tapering skeletal mass analogous to the outer walls of an enlarging cantilever beam.

These hypothetical relationships are generally consistent with biofacies distributions of more than 50 species associated with a single middle Danian mound in southern Sweden. This mound is typical of many which accumulated, probably at depths approximating the shelf-edge, in southern Scandinavia during Danian time. It includes three biofacies: (1) the flanks, dominated by bryozoans; (2) the core, rich in octocorals with less abundant colonial scleractinians and bryozoans; and (3) transitional areas, between the two, dominated by octocorals but with abundant bryozoans. Sediments of the three biofacies contain distinctive assemblages of cheilostome species which differ in abundance rather than by presence or absence. The flanks are dominated by species inferred to have had erect colonies and the more complex zooid morphotypes. This group of species constitutes the bulk of the total fauna in weight-abundance but fewer than half the species. Species dominant in the core facies make up about half the total number of species and are inferred to have had mostly encrusting colonies with zooids of all morphotypes recognized, including the simplest. The transitional facies includes a mixture in subequal proportions of the two groups of species dominant in the other facies; however, this facies has other distinctive species in abundance and thus may represent an ecotone. Morphologically, the cheilostomes abundant in the transitional facies are intermediate in inferred zooid morphotypes and colony forms.

The relation between abundance and morphology of Danian cheilostomes suggests that attainment of the more advantageous rigidly erect colony form was functionally more probable for zooid morphotypes susceptible of heavy frontal calcification than for others. If a minimum amount of frontal calcification must have been present before the rigidly erect mode of growth could be assumed, then frontal calcification was associated originally with some other function, such as protection of the lophophore. It is possible that the various further advances in zooid morphotype could also have been made as separate prospective adaptations, but it seems more likely that some or all of them represent direct adaptive improvements for the structural support of rigidly erect colonies.


Geology and Paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina, I
Clayton E. Ray, editor
529 pages, 95 figures, 101 plates, 8 tables
1983 (Date of Issue: 13 September 1983)
Number 53, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
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Abstract

This volume of papers on the geology and paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine is the first of three to be dedicated to the late Remington Kellogg, who initiated Smithsonian studies of the mine. It includes the first 14 papers, as well as a biography of Remington Kellogg by Frank C. Whitmore, Jr., and a prologue by Clayton E. Ray. This study places the Lee Creek Mine in the larger context of the history of Neogene geology and paleontology of the middle Atlantic Coastal Plain. Jack H. McLellan outlines the development and operation of Texasgulf's phosphate mine and manufacturing plant at Lee Creek, particularly as they relate to geological and paleontological studies. Thomas G. Gibson describes the regional patterns of Miocene-Pleistocene deposition in the Salisbury and Albemarle embayments of the central Atlantic Coastal Plain. On the basis of cluster analysis of 16 samples, including 149 taxa of ostracodes from fossiliferous beds above the Pungo River Formation, Joseph E. Hazel determines that the Yorktown Formation at the Lee Creek Mine is early Pliocene in age and the Croatan Formation spans the Plio-Pleistocene boundary. Among the ostracodes, 2 genera, 31 species, and one subspecies, are diagnosed as new. Walter H. Wheeler, Raymond B. Daniels, and Erling E. Gamble survey the post-Yorktown development in the region of the Neuse-Tar-Pamlico rivers. Primarily on the basis of auger holes, they begin with the Aurora paleoscarp marking the top of the Yorktown Formation, on which the organic-rich Small sequence (Croatan or James City Formation) was deposited, followed unconformably by the Pamlico morphostratigraphic unit; the inner edge of the Pamlico msu is associated with the Minnesott Ridge. H. Allen Curran and Patricia L. Parker divide the “Upper Shell” unit at the mine into three bivalve assemblage zones, probably formed through mass mortality in a series of local catastrophic events. Edward S. Belt, Robert W. Frey, and John S. Welch interpret Pleistocene deposition at the mine on the basis of biogenic and physical sedimentary structures, enabling them to recognize five major unconformities and four depositional sequences, indicative of a progradational shoreline under tectonically stable conditions. Their fourth depositional cycle includes a freshwater peat member thought to be of Sangamon interglacial age, on the basis of Donald R. Whitehead's pollen analysis. This analysis reveals high percentages of sedge and grass pollens, an absence of boreal indicators, tree pollen frequencies similar to those of interglacial deposits to the north and south, and general similarity of the fossil pollen spectrum to modern pollen assemblages of eastern North Carolina. Francis M. Hueber identifies the gymnospermous genera Pinus, Juniperus, and Taxodium, and tentatively the angiospermous genus Gleditsia, among the quartz-permineralized woods from the lower part of the Yorktown Formation at the mine; he also discusses the resin-like specimens, which are of unknown biological source and for which the stratigraphic source (Yorktown Formation, above the source of the woods) is known for only one specimen. William H. Abbott and John J. Ernissee report one silicoflagellate and two diatom assemblages (equivalent to Blow's zones N9 and N11) in a diatomaceous clay of the Pungo River Formation from two cores in Beaufort County; one new species of diatom is described. On the basis of 30 species of planktonic Foraminifera and a few radiometric dates, Thomas G. Gibson assigns ages from latest Oligocene through early Pleistocene to 10 stratigraphic units in the central Atlantic Coastal Plain; he describes 37 species and subspecies of benthic Foraminifera, of which 10 species and 2 subspecies are new. Scott W. Snyder, Lucy L. Mauger, and W.H. Akers assign an age of late-early to early-late Pliocene for a 15-meter section of the Yorktown Formation at the mine, based on 29 taxa of planktonic Foraminifera. Druid Wilson describes as a new genus and species of barnacle a puzzling fossil from inside the shell of the bivalve Mercenaria from the Croatan Formation. Porter M. Kier reports one species of echinoid from the Pungo River Formation, three from the Yorktown Formation, of which one is new, and two from the Croatan Formation. John E. Fitch and Robert J. Lavenberg record 45 taxa of teleost otoliths from the Yorktown Formation, representing 27 genera, of which 22 are new to the Pliocene of North America, and 6 are first fossil records.


Geology and Paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina, II
Clayton E. Ray, editor
283 pages, 49 figures, 80 plates, 21 tables
1987 (Date of Issue: 15 June 1987)
Number 61, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.61.1
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Volume I of this projected series of three volumes included the prologue to the series, a biography of Remington Kellogg, and 13 papers on geology and paleontology other than Mollusca and Vertebrata (except otoliths). It was published in 1983 as Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology number 53. The present volume consists of a foreword and five chapters devoted to molluscan paleontology. The foreword recounts the earliest scientific publication of New World fossils, all mollusks, and reproduces Martin Lister's illustrations of them. William M. Furnish and Brian F. Glenister record the nautilid genus Aturia from the Pungo River Formation and discuss its occurrence elsewhere. Druid Wilson describes a new pycnodont oyster from the Pungo River Formation and lists the Cenozoic pycnodonts from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain; he also summarizes the stratigraphic and geographic occurrences of the subgenera of Ecphora, Ecphora and Stenomphalus, naming a new species of each from the Pungo River Formation, and a new species of the former from the St. Marys Formation of Maryland. Thomas G. Gibson clarifies the relationships and stratigraphic utility of 17 taxa (including one new species from the Pungo River Formation) of pectinid bivalves on the basis of biometric study of large samples from lower Miocene to lower Pleistocene beds in and near the mine. Lauck W. Ward and Blake W. Blackwelder describe a molluscan fauna of 194 species, including 30 new species and 3 new subspecies, from the Chowan River (upper Pliocene) and James City (lower Pleistocene) formations, and conclude that the fauna reflects a subtropical thermal regime and that it was deposited under open marine conditions at depths not exceeding 25 meters.


Geology and Paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina, III
Clayton E. Ray and David J. Bohaska, editors
365 pages, 127 figures, 45 plates, 32 tables
2001 (Date of Issue: 11 May 2001)
Number 90, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.90.1
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This volume on the geology and paleontology of the Lee Creek Mine is the third of four to be dedicated to the late Remington Kellogg. It includes a prodromus and six papers on nonmammalian vertebrate paleontology. The prodromus continues the historical theme of the introductions to volumes I and II, reviewing and resuscitating additional early reports of Atlantic Coastal Plain fossils. Harry L. Fierstine identifies five species of the billfish family Istiophoridae from some 500 bones collected in the Yorktown Formation. These include the only record of Makaira purdyi Fierstine, the first fossil record of the genus Tetrapturus, specifically T. albidus Poey, the second fossil record of Istiophorus platypterus (Shaw and Nodder) and Makaira indica (Cuvier), and the first fossil record of I. platypterus, M. indica, M. nigricans Lacépède, and T. albidus from fossil deposits bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Robert W. Purdy and five coauthors identify 104 taxa from 52 families of cartilaginous and bony fishes from the Pungo River and Yorktown formations. The 10 teleosts and 44 selachians from the Pungo River Formation indicate correlation with the Burdigalian and Langhian stages. The 37 cartilaginous and 40 bony fishes, mostly from the Sunken Meadow member of the Yorktown Formation, are compatible with assignment to the early Pliocene planktonic foraminiferal zones N18 or N19. The Pungo River fish fauna is dominated by warm water taxa; the Yorktown fauna includes warm and cool water species. These changes are attributed to increased upwelling waters in Yorktown time. The abundant fossils provide the basis for several changes in selachian taxonomy and for two new species of bony fishes. George R. Zug records 11 taxa of turtles from the Yorktown Formation: a sideneck (Bothremys); six sea turtles (Caretta, ?Chelonia, Lepidochelys, Procolpochelys, Psephophorus, Syllomus); a softshell turtle (trionychid); two pond turtles (probably Pseudemys and Trachemys); and a giant tortoise (Geochelone). Albert C. Myrick, Jr., records the crocodylian Thecachampsa antiqua (Leidy) on the basis of fragmentary float material from the Pungo River or Yorktown Formation, or both. Robert W. Storer describes a new species of grebe of the genus Podiceps from the Yorktown Formation. Storrs L. Olson and Pamela C. Rasmussen record some 112 species of birds from the Pungo River and Yorktown formations. Apart from an undetermined number of shearwaters, only a few species are thought to come from the Pungo River Formation. The marine species from the Yorktown Formation include three loons, two grebes, five albatrosses, at least 16 shearwaters and petrels, one pelican, two pseudodontorns, three gannets, two cormorants, 9-11 auks and puffins, one skua, three jaegers, five gulls, two terns, and 20 ducks, geese, and swans. The less common land and shore birds are represented by 29 species, including three cranes, one rail, two oystercatchers, one plover, four scolopacids, one flamingo, one ibis, one heron, three storks, one condor, five accipitrids, one osprey, one phasianid, one turkey, one pigeon, and one crow. The fauna is dominated by a radiation of auks of the genus Alca. The early Pliocene fauna is very modern in aspect, suggesting that most modern lineages of birds were already in existence.


Giant Camels from the Cenozoic of North America
Jessica A. Harrison
29 pages, 17 figures, 4 tables
1985 (Date of Issue: 14 June 1985)
Number 57, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.57.1
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Abstract

Seven genera of giant camels occurred in North America during the interval from the late Clarendonian to the early Holocene. Aepycamelus was the first camel to achieve giant size and is the only one not in the subfamily Camelinae. Blancocamelus and Camelops are in the tribe Lamini, and the remaining giant camels Megatylopus, Titanotylopus, Megacamelus, Gigantocamelus, and Camelus are in the tribe Camelini. Megacamelus is a late Hemphillian giant camel most closely related to Gigantocamelus. Titanotylopus is reserved for the brachyodont form from the Irvingtonian of Nebraska, and Gigantocamelus is reinstated for the broad-chinned, Blancan form.


Glyptodonts of North America
David D. Gillette and Clayton E. Ray
255 pages, 97 figures, 70 tables
1981 (Date of Issue: 21 December 1981)
Number 40, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.40.1
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All known North American glyptodonts belong in the genus Glyptotherium Osborn, 1903 (Family Glyptodontidae, Subfamily Glyptodontinae). Junior synonyms are Brachyostracon Brown, 1912; Boreostracon Simpson, 1929; Xenoglyptodon Meade, 1953; and all assignments of North American specimens to Glyptodon Owen, 1838. The ancestral species is Glyptotherium texanum from the Early Pleistocene Tusker (Arizona) and Blanco (Texas) local faunas of the Blancan Land Mammal Age; G. texanum is smaller and lacks many of the exaggerated features of the descendant species. The descendant species are G. arizonae (Blancan? and Irvingtonian); G. floridanum (Rancholabrean); and two species known from isolated localities in Mexico, G. cylindricum and G. mexicanum. The taxonomic validity of G. mexicanum is questionable.

The geographic distribution and faunal associations of Glyptotherium clearly indicate tropical or subtropical habitats. North American glyptodonts exhibit extreme tendencies toward hypsodonty and homodonty in the dentition, and they lack both incisiform and caniniform teeth. They probably fed on soft vegetation near permanent bodies of water. Graviportal limb proportions and details of the gross osteology suggest slow and cumbersome locomotion, which probably precluded occupation of upland habitats.

A substantial expansion in the number of specimens available for study has extensively improved our knowledge of the gross osteology of Glyptotherium, especially for G. texanum and G. arizonae.


Homeomorphy in Recent Deep-Sea Brachiopods
G. Arthur Cooper
25 pages, 5 figures, 4 plates
1972 (Date of Issue: 10 March 1972)
Number 11, Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology
DOI: 10.5479/si.00810266.11.1
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A collection of brachiopods from the Baja California Abyssal Plain forms a deep-sea assemblage unusual in that it contains three genera that are unrelated but externally almost identical; i.e., they are homeomorphs. One is Neorhynchia, an impunctate rhynchonellid; the second, a punctate terebratulid with short loop, is called Abyssothyris; and the third is referred to a new genus, Notorygmia, related to Macandrevia. A discussion of homeomorphy is followed by the systematics of the genera and species involved.


Displaying 21 - 30 from the 97 total records