Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Santonian/Campanian Cretaceous Puskwaskau Formation Shows Diverse Marine Reptile Fauna Near Paleo Arctic Circle

Marine Reptiles (Plesiosauria and Mosasauridae) from the Puskwaskau Formation (Santonian–Campanian), West-Central Alberta


Bell et al


Plesiosaurs and mosasaurs are identified from the Puskwaskau Formation of west-central Alberta, Canada. These deposits record the final stages during which the Western Interior Seaway remained open to the Boreal Sea to the North and therefore are important for determining the ranges of high-latitude marine reptiles. Polycotylid and elasmosaurid plesiosaurs shared these waters with russellosaurine (including plioplatecarpine) mosasaurs suggesting a diverse ecology of large-bodied marine predators occupied these high-latitude waters in the early Campanian. This locality, situated at 65°N paleolatitude, helps link the poorly known faunas from northern Canada with the better-known faunas from central and southern North America. Rare articulated material from the Puskwaskau Formation urges further investigation of this poorly explored unit.

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