Presents state-of-the-art essays on important topics and methods in the analysis of vertebrate microfossil assemblages. The minute remains of animals and plants have proven very useful to paleontologists as tools for dating large fossils, describing the environments which existed at the time the fossils were deposited, and identifying and mapping the extent of local floras and faunas, among other things. Due to the large sample sizes that can be obtained, the chance to recover rare taxa is much higher than it is during a search for skeletal remains. Analysis of the data produced from microvertebrate localities can address a wide range of questions as these papers clearly demonstrate.
"In 13 well-referenced chapters, 17 authors present methodological approaches to the study of microfossil assemblages, results of several recent studies, and recommendations for future research. This book is sure to stimulate significant discussion among paleontologists and evolutionary biologists [...] Recommended."
– D. A. Brass, independent scholar, Choice, November 2008
"[...] Here, the editors have brought together a fine collection of papers primarily addressing [vertebrate microfossil assemblages] [...] I would say that anyone working in the Late Cretaceous of North America would do well to purchase a copy, as would those who work on some of the taxa detailed within (small theropods, frogs, etc.). Kudos to the editors and authors on this interesting contribution!"
– Andy Farke, The Open Source Paleontologist, September 11, 2008
"For several decades the study of vertebrate microfaunas has contributed greatly to our understanding of the evolution and paleobiology of fossil vertebrates. Despite the importance of such studies, the discipline has perhaps been viewed as slightly out of the mainstream. This is the first time that microfaunal studies have coalesced into a single volume. Hopefully it is a harbinger of an intellectual maturation, the coming-of-age of a discipline."
– Peter Dodson, University of Pennsylvania
Preface. Sven Baszio
Part 1. Importance of Microvertebrate Sites, Sampling, Statistical Methods, and Taphonomy
1. Information from Microvertebrate Localities: Potentials and Limits Sven Baszio
2. How Much Is Enough? A Repeatable, Efficient, and Controlled Sampling Protocol for Assessing Taxonomic Diversity and Abundance in Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages Heather A. Jamniczky, Donald B. Brinkman, and Anthony P. Russell
3. Taphonomic Issues Relating to Concentrations of Pedogenic Nodules and Vertebrates in the Paleocene and Miocene Gulf Coastal Plain: Examples from Texas and Louisiana, USA Judith A. Schiebout, Paul D. White, and Grant S. Boardman
Part 2. Guild Analysis, Ecological and Faunal Analyses, Biodiversity, and Paleobiogeography
4. The Structure of Late Cretaceous (Late Campanian) Nonmarine Aquatic Communities: A Guild Analysis of Two Vertebrate Microfossil Localities in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada Donald Brinkman
5. Vertebrate Paleoecology from Microsites, Talley Mountain, Upper Aguja Formation (Late Cretaceous), Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA Julia T. Sankey
6. Terrestrial and Aquatic Vertebrate Paleocommunities of the Mesaverde Formation (Upper Cretaceous, Campanian) of the Wind River and Bighorn Basins, Wyoming, USA
David G. DeMar Jr. and Brent H. Breithaupt
7. Lack of Variability in Feeding Patterns of the Sauropod Dinosaurs Diplodocus and Camarasaurus (Late Jurassic, Western USA) with Respect to Climate as Indicated by Tooth Wear Features Anthony R. Fiorillo
8. Diversity of Latest Cretaceous (Late Maastrichtian) Small Theropods and Birds: Teeth from the Lance and Hell Creek Formations, USA Julia T. Sankey
9. Small Theropod Teeth from the Lance Formation of Wyoming, USA Nick Longrich
10. The First Serrated Bird Tooth Philip J. Currie and Clive Coy
11. First Dinosaur Eggshells from Texas, USA: Aguja Formation (Late Campanian), Big Bend National Park Ed Welsh and Julia T. Sankey
12. Review of the Albanerpetontidae (Lissamphibia), with Comments on the Paleoecological Preferences of European Tertiary Albanerpetontids James D. Gardner and Madelaine Böhme
13. New Information on Frogs (Lissamphibia: Anura) from the Lance Formation (Late Maastrichtian) and Bug Creek Anthills (Late Maastrichtian and Early Paleocene), Hell Creek Formation, USA James D. Gardner
List of Contributors
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Julia T. Sankey is Associate Professor of Geology in the Department of Physics and Geology at California State University in Stanislaus. Sven Baszio is a paleontologist at the University of Bonn, Germany.