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Implications of paleoenvironmental variation in the Judith River Formation (Campanian), Montana through the taphonomy of shark teeth
 
SVPCA Conference
 
Platform presentation (20 minutes)
Authors
 
*Yasemin Tulu
,
Abstract
 
Taphonomic experiments on modern shark and ray teeth were conducted to determine whether it is possible to simulate transport of fossil shark teeth once shed. The results, used in conjunction with local site information: abundance of fossil chondrichthyan material, faunal assemblages, and preservation of fossil material, suggest that there is significant local variation between sites within the Judith River Formation of Montana. Two sites (Woodhawk Bonebed and Power Plant Ferry Bonebed) in close proximity (3 km) to each other from the same stratigraphic horizon in shoreface deposits were studied. The experiments show that in a dynamic environment shark and ray teeth exhibit more wear with an increase in time. This information coupled with the fact that the sites differ in their respective faunal assemblage indicates that they represent localized areas of variable energy. The high-energy paleoenvironment (Woodhawk Bonebed) has a greater abundance of species and material with a wide array of preservation, and the low energy paleoenvironment (Power Plant Ferry Bonebed) has less abundant, less speciose material and more uniform, rather pristine preservation. The Woodhawk Bonebed strongly indicates allochthonus material being mixed with autochthonous material, creating a mix of marine and estuarine fossils that has produced mixed interpretations of the geology and paleontology for the Judith River Formation.
London 2020