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A snapshot into the terrestrial ecosystem of an exceptionally well preserved dinosaur (Hadrosauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of North Dakota, USA
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2987-5559
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2013 (English)In: Cretaceous research (Print), ISSN 0195-6671, E-ISSN 1095-998X, Vol. 46, 114-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A palynological investigation of sedimentary rocks enclosing an exceptionally well-preserved fossil dinosaur (Hadrosauridae) discovered in the upper part of the Hell Creek Formation in south western North Dakota was conducted in order to document the immediate paleoenvironment of this dinosaur. The specimen, an Edmontosaurus annectens is remarkable in having exceptional three-dimensional preservation of soft tissue around the skeleton, indicating rapid burial. A well-preserved palynological assemblage dominated by fern and bryophyte spores, with lesser gymnosperm and angiosperm pollen was recovered. Sparse fresh-water algae and marine dinoflagellate cysts were also recorded. The palynofacies is dominated by wood fragments, including charcoal, with little amorphous organic matter. The presence of some typical pollen taxa of the Wodehouseia spinata Assemblage Zone including Striatellipollis striatellus, Tricolpites microreticulatus, Leptopecopites pocockii as well as a diverse suite of Aquilapollenites, is fully consistent with a Late Cretaceous (late Maastrichtian) age. The palynoflora indicates a local vegetation composed of a canopy of conifers dominated by Pinaceae and a minor sub-canopy of Taxodium and cycads, as well as an understory of hydrophilous ferns, mosses and herbaceous angiosperms, indicative of a warm and humid climate e an environment where this specific hadrosaur roamed over 66 million years ago.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 46, 114-122 p.
Keyword [en]
Hell Creek, Maastrichtian, Paleoclimate, Palynology, Hadrosaur, Dinosaur, swamp
National Category
Natural Sciences Geology
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1409DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2013.08.010OAI: diva2:872999
Available from: 2015-11-21 Created: 2015-11-21 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved

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Vajda, Vivi
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