Event Title

Paleoenvironment of the Late Eocene Whitehead Creek Locality

Presentation Type

Three Minute Thesis

Start Date

23-4-2019 12:00 AM

End Date

23-4-2019 12:00 AM

Description

Toward the end of the Middle Eocene (40-37 mya), the environment started to decline on a global scale. It was becoming more arid, the tropical forests were disappearing from the northern latitudes, and there was an increase in seasonality. Research of the Chadronian (37-33.7 mya) in the Great Plains region has documented the persistence of several mammalian taxa, for example primates, that are otherwise extinct. This research aims to investigate the circumstances surrounding the persistence of these relict taxa (e.g. primates) in the Great Plains. More specifically, it seeks to interpret the environmental conditions that might have allowed these relics to persist in the Great Plains after their extinctions elsewhere. The goal of this project is to better understand the community ecology at one fossil locality, the Whitehead Creek locality, Nebraska, for the purpose of reconstructing its paleoenvironment. To address the paleoenvironment at Whitehead Creek, I evaluated locomotor guilds of morphospecies, recognized through visual assessment and PCA, of 56 astragali and 43 calcanei. 54 terminal phalanges were evaluated morphometrically. Locomotor guild frequencies of small mammals (

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Apr 23rd, 12:00 AM Apr 23rd, 12:00 AM

Paleoenvironment of the Late Eocene Whitehead Creek Locality

Toward the end of the Middle Eocene (40-37 mya), the environment started to decline on a global scale. It was becoming more arid, the tropical forests were disappearing from the northern latitudes, and there was an increase in seasonality. Research of the Chadronian (37-33.7 mya) in the Great Plains region has documented the persistence of several mammalian taxa, for example primates, that are otherwise extinct. This research aims to investigate the circumstances surrounding the persistence of these relict taxa (e.g. primates) in the Great Plains. More specifically, it seeks to interpret the environmental conditions that might have allowed these relics to persist in the Great Plains after their extinctions elsewhere. The goal of this project is to better understand the community ecology at one fossil locality, the Whitehead Creek locality, Nebraska, for the purpose of reconstructing its paleoenvironment. To address the paleoenvironment at Whitehead Creek, I evaluated locomotor guilds of morphospecies, recognized through visual assessment and PCA, of 56 astragali and 43 calcanei. 54 terminal phalanges were evaluated morphometrically. Locomotor guild frequencies of small mammals (