Paleoecology and sedimentology of a vertebrate microfossil assemblage from the easternmost Dinosaur Park Formation (Late Cretaceous, Upper Campanian,) Saskatchewan, Canada: Reconstructing diversity in a coastal ecosystem
Meagan M. Gilbert, Emily L. Bamforth, Luis A. Buatois, Robin W. Renaut
A ~42 m section of Late Cretaceous Upper Campanian sediments in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada, represents the easternmost outcrop of the Dinosaur Park Formation in the Western Interior Basin. Herein we document a new microvertebrate locality from the upper part of this formation that shows high diversity in a mixed coastal and marine assemblage. Palynology, ichnology, sedimentology, and vertebrate palaeontology are integrated to determine paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions in the region. The site is interpreted as having been deposited under marginal-marine conditions near a shoreline undergoing transgression by the encroaching Bearpaw Sea. Though well studied and sampled in Alberta, the Dinosaur Park Formation is poorly exposed with little known associated vertebrate assemblages in Saskatchewan. These discoveries from the new microvertebrate site offer new insights into Late Cretaceous ecosystems near paleocoastlines, allowing for future studies of spatial diversity patterns relative to Albertan faunas. Herein is also presented the first published occurrences of several Late Campanian vertebrate taxa in Saskatchewan.
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