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Mammals of the Badlands. By Christina Hurley. Badlands: Geologic History. Started forming about 75 million years ago Are composed of 6 different formations Pierre Shale Yellow Mounds Chadron Formation Brule Formation Rockyford Ash Sharps Formation. Pierre Shale.

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mammals of the badlands

Mammals of the Badlands

By Christina Hurley

badlands geologic history
Badlands:Geologic History
  • Started forming about 75 million years ago
  • Are composed of 6 different formations
    • Pierre Shale
    • Yellow Mounds
    • Chadron Formation
    • Brule Formation
    • Rockyford Ash
    • Sharps Formation
pierre shale
Pierre Shale
  • Deposited 69-75 mya by shallow inland sea
  • Black mud hardened to shale
  • Fossil clams, ammonites, and sea reptiles have been found
yellow mounds
Yellow Mounds
  • Weathered black ocean mud
    • Had been exposed from formation of the Black Hills
  • Example of fossil soil (paleosol)
chadron formation
Chadron Formation
  • Deposited 34-37 mya
  • River flood plain
    • New floods would make each deposit
  • Known for titanotheres fossils (large, rhinoceros-like mammals)
brule formation
Brule Formation
  • Deposited 30-34 mya
  • Open savannah
  • Bands of sandstone show rivers
  • Red bands paleosol
  • Oreodonts (sheep-like animals) dominated
rockyford ash
Rockyford Ash
  • Volcanic Ash
  • Bottom layer of Sharps Formation
  • Serves as a boundary between Sharps and Brule Formations
sharps formation
Sharps Formation
  • 28-30 million years old
  • Deposited by wind and water
  • Volcanic eruptions from the west provided ash
paleontology
Hyracodon

Subhyracodon

Metamynodon

Tapiroids Colodon

Protapirus

Mesohippus

Miohippus

Archaeotherium

Protoceras

Hyaenodon

Poebrotherium

Oreodont

Nimravid

Hesperocyon

Paleontology
hesperocyon1
Hesperocyon
  • “Mongoose-like mammal”
  • One of the earliest Canidae family members
  • Spent little time in the trees and hunted mostly on the ground
  • Had retractable claws to allow ground walking and climbing trees

“There once was a goose named Mon. He was a mongoose.” – Allison Moon

mesohippus celer1
Means “middle horse”

Appeared suddenly (geologically speaking)

Preceding horses had 4 toes, Mesohippus only had 3

Cerebral hemispheres notably larger

Brain more distinctly equine

Last 3 premolars are like the 3 molars

Like today’s horses have 6 grinding cheek teeth

Mesohippus celer
leptauchenia nitida oreodont1
Leptauchenia nitida (Oreodont)
  • Called “ruminants hogs”
  • Have distinctive canine teeth
  • High set eyes and nostrils suggest aquatic life-style
  • Clawed toes indicate terrestrial habitat
  • Debated whether it is related to pigs or sheep
    • It’s a SHIG!
nimravids1
Nimravids
  • Are not saber-toothed cats, not even true cats
  • Illustrates parallel evolution
  • Differences are:
    • Paths of various nerve and blood vessels in skull are more primitive
    • Lack a two-chambered auditory bulla
    • Teeth are more coned shaped
  • No modern relatives – truly extinct
slide19

B - nimravid; A, C - felids; D - marsupial

Illustration of different evolution theories. Third being the most current.

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Hesperocyon – brought dogs down from the trees
  • Mesohippus celer – 4 toes down to 3, more equine like brain
  • Oreodont – importance still unknown
  • Nimravids – shows parallel evolution
references
References
  • http://fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Sites/badlands.html
  • http://fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Galleries/Mammalia/Oreodont/Oreodont.htm
  • http://talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html
  • http://laelaps.wordpress.com/2007/06/28/just-what-is-a-nimravid-anyway/
  • http://www.nps.gov/badl/upload/07Newspaper.pdf
  • Warren, Dean M.. Small Animal Care and Management. 2. Thomson Delmar Learning, 2002.
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