Hell Creek Formation

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Hell Creek Formation
Stratigraphic range: MaastrichtianDanian, 66.8–66 Ma
Hell Creek.jpg
Exposure in the badlands in the vicinity of Fort Peck Reservoir
Type Geological formation
Underlies Fort Union Formation
Overlies Fox Hills Formation
Location
Region  Montana  North Dakota  South Dakota
Country  USA

The Hell Creek Formation is an intensively-studied division of mostly Upper Cretaceous and some lower Paleocene rocks in North America, named for exposures studied along Hell Creek, near Jordan, Montana. The formation includes portions of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. In Montana, the Hell Creek Formation overlies the Fox Hills Formation. "Pompey's Pillar" at the Pompeys Pillar National Monument is a small isolated section of the Hell Creek Formation.

It is a series of fresh and brackish-water clays, mudstones, and sandstones deposited during the Maastrichtian and Danian (respectively the end of the Cretaceous period and the beginning of the Paleogene) by fluvial activity in fluctuating river channels and deltas and very occasional peaty swamp deposits along the low-lying eastern continental margin fronting the late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. The climate was mild, and the presence of crocodilians suggests a sub-tropical climate, with no prolonged annual cold. The famous iridium-enriched Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, which separates the Cretaceous from the Cenozoic, occurs as a discontinuous but distinct thin marker bedding above and occasionally within the formation, near its boundary with the overlying Fort Union Formation.

The world's largest collection of Hell Creek fossils is housed and exhibited at the Museum of the Rockies, in Bozeman, Montana. The specimens displayed are the result of the museum's Hell Creek Project, a joint effort between the museum, Montana State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of North Dakota and the University of North Carolina which began in 1998.

Geology

Map of the Hell Creek and Lance formations in western North America

The Hell Creek Formation in Montana overlies the Fox Hills Formation and underlies the Fort Union Formation, and the boundary with the latter occurs near the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, which defines the end of the Cretaceous period and has been dated to 66 ± 0.07 Ma old.1 Fauna characteristic of the Hell Creek (Lancian land vertebrate age) are found as high as a few meters below the boundary.2

The K-Pg boundary is generally situated near the contact between the upper Hell Creek and the lower Ludlow member of the Fort Union Formation, though in some areas (e.g. in North Dakota) the boundary is well within the Ludlow Member, 3 meters above the boundary with the Hell Creek in some areas.2 On the other hand, in some small regions of Montana, the Hell Creek Formation contains the K-Pg boundary, and extends slightly into the Paleogene.3

Paleobiota

The formation has produced impressive assemblages of invertebrates, plants, mammals, fish, reptiles (including the lizard Obamadon), Marine reptile, and amphibians. Notable dinosaur finds include Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. The most complete Hadrosaurid dinosaur ever found was retrieved in 2000 from the Hell Creek Formation and widely publicised in a National Geographic documentary aired in December 2007. A few bird, mammal, and pterosaur fossils have also been found. Teeth of sharks and rays are sometimes found in the riverine Hell Creek Formation, suggesting that some of these taxa were then, as now, tolerant of fresh water. The "Lancian" fauna is overall more similar (Phylogenetically.) to East Asian and Canadian/Alaskan faunas then most Campanian N. American fauna's.

Amphibians

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Amphibians reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Barbourula4

Indeterminate5

  • Montana6

Barbourula busuangensis01.jpg

Eopelobates7

Indeterminate5

  • Montana6

Eopelobates wagneri 34.JPG

Habrosaurus5

H. dilatus5

  • Montana6

Lisserpeton5

L. bairdi5

  • Montana6

Opisthotriton5

O. kayi5

  • Montana6

Paranecturus8

P. garbanii8

  • Montana8

A member of Proteidae.8

Necturus maculosus maculosus.jpg

Proamphiuma5

P. cretacica5

  • Montana6

Prodesmodon5

P. copei5

  • Montana6

Scapherpeton5

S. tectum5

  • Montana6

Scotiophryne5

S. pustulosa5

  • Montana6

Fishes

Bony fishes

Bony fishes reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Acipenser9

A. eruciferus9

  • Montana10

A sturgeon

Sturgeon2.jpg

Amia9

A. fragosa9

  • Montana10

small amiid fish (ubiquitous). Closely related to the modern Bowfin

Amia calva 4.jpg

Belonostomus9

B. longirostris9

  • Montana10

A long-snouted slender fish (affinity= ?Aspidorhynchidae). Rare

Belonostomus muensteri.jpg

Coriops11

C. amnicolus11

  • Montana12

Lepisosteus9

L. occidentalis9

  • Montana10

garfish ("gar pike") (extremely common)

Lepisosteus oculatus1.jpg

Palaeolabrus9

P. montanensis9

  • Montana10

Paleopsephurus9

P. wilsoni9

  • Montana10

A paddlefish

Paddlefish Polyodon spathula.jpg

Paralbula13

P. casei13

  • Montana12

Platacodon11

P. nanus11

  • Montana12

small teleost fish

Protamia9

Indeterminate9

  • Montana10

Protoscaphirhynchus9

P. squamosus9

  • Montana10

a sturgeon

Cartilaginous fishes

Cartilaginous fishes reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Ischyrhiza14

I. avonicola14

  • Montana15

Lonchidion14

L. selachos14

  • Montana15

Myledaphus16

M. pustulosus16

A member of Rajiformes related to guitarfishes.16 Described on the basis of teeth formerly assigned to the species M. bipartitus.16

Shovelnose guitarfish.JPG

Restesia16

R. americana16

A wobbegong.16

Spotted wobbegong.jpg

Dinosaurs

Ornithischians

Ankylosaurs

Ankylosaurs reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Ankylosaurus17

Ankylosaurus magniventris17

  • Montana17

An ankylosaur. Also found in the Lance and Scollard Formations.

Ankylosaurus magniventris reconstruction.png

Edmontonia17

indeterminate17

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota18
  • South Dakota19

A nodosaur.

Edmontonia dinosaur.png

Ceratopsians

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Ceratopsians reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Leptoceratops17

Indeterminate20

  • Montana17

A small primitive-looking ceratopsian.

Leptoceratops BW.jpg

Tatankaceratops

T. sacrisonorum

  • South Dakota

A ceratopsian possibly synonymous with Triceratops21

Tatankaceratops NT.jpg

Torosaurus17

T. latus17

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota18
  • South Dakota19

A ceratopsian possibly synonymous with Triceratops.22 Also found in the Frenchman and Lance Formations.

Torosaurus BW.jpg

Triceratops17

T. horridus17

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota18
  • South Dakota19
  1. Very common.

A ceratopsian, very common. Also found in the Evanston, Frenchman, Kirtland, Lance, Laramie, and Scollard Formations.

Triceratops by Tom Patker.png

T. maximus17

  • Montana17

"[Eight] vertebrae, [two] ribs."23

Later found to be indeterminate ceratopsid remains.17

T. prorsus17

  • Montana17

Very common.citation needed

Also found in the Frenchman and Lance Formations.

Triceratops mount.jpg

T. serratus17

  • Montana17

Later referred to T. horridus.17

Triceratops serratus.jpg

Ornithopods

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Ornithopods reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Anatosaurus

A. annectens

Reclassified as Edmontosaurus annectens, thought occasionally considered a separate genus.24

Anatotitan BW.jpg

Anatotitan

A. copei

Junior synonym of Edmontosaurus annectens.24

Bugenasaura

B. garbanii

Junior synonym of Thescelosaurus garbanii

B. infernalis

Reclassified as Thescelosaurus

Edmontosaurus

E. annectens

  • Montana17
  • South Dakota19

Very common.

A hadrosaur. Also found in the Denver, Frenchman, Lance, Laramie, and Scollard Formations.

DMNS Edmontosaurus.png

Parasaurolophus25

P. walkeri25

  • Montana17

A lambeosaurine hadrosaur that may have lived in the Hell Creek Formation however lack of more evidence makes this unclear.

Thescelosaurus19

T. garbanii26

  • Montana26
  • South Dakota27

Willo.jpg

T. infernalis

Nomen dubium

T. neglectus19

  • South Dakota19

A small ornithopod. Also found in the Frenchman, Lance, Laramie, and Scollard Formations.28

Thescelosaurus BW3.jpg

Indeterminate29

  • North Dakota18

Pachycephalosaurs

An undescribed Pachycephalosaur is present in North Dakota.18

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Pachycephalosaurs reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Dracorex30

D. hogwartsia30

  • South Dakota30
  • Middle30

A pachycephalosaur, possibly synonymous with Pachycephalosaurus.

The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Dracorex actual skull.jpg

Pachycephalosaurus17

P. wyomingensis17

  • Montana17
  • South Dakota19

A pachycephalosaur. Also found in the Lance Formation.

Pachycephalosauria jmallon.jpg

Sphaerotholus17

S. buchholtzae17

  • Montana17

"Skull material."31

A pachycephalosaur, possibly synonymous with Prenocephale.

Sphaerotholus.png

Stygimoloch17

S. spinifer17

  • Montana17

A pachycephalosaur, possibly synonymous with Pachycephalosaurus. Also found in the Lance Formation.

Stygi.jpg

Indeterminate19

  • South Dakota19

Theropods

Theropod tracks have been found in South Dakota.19 An unnamed alvarezsaurid is known from Montana.32

Tyrannosaurids

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Tyrannosaurids reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Albertosaurus

A. megagracilis"17

  • Montana17

Remains later referred to Tyrannosaurus rex.17

Aublysodon17

A. cf. mirandus17

  • Montana17

Now considered indeterminate tyrannosauroid remains.17

A. molnari17

  • Montana17

Remains later referred to Tyrannosaurus rex.17

Dinotyrannus

D. megagracilis

  • Montana

Remains later referred to Tyrannosaurus rex.

Gorgosaurus

G. lancensis

  • Montana

Remains later referred to Nanotyrannus lancensis.

Nanotyrannus17

N. lancensis17

  • Montana17

"Nearly complete skull."33

A small tyrannosaur, possibly synonymous with Tyrannosaurus.

CMNH Nanotyrannus Skull.jpg

Tyrannosaurus17

T. rex17

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota18
  • South Dakota19
A tyrannosaur, known from several specimens including a juvenile nicknamed "Jane". Also found in the Denver, Frenchman, Hill Creek South, Javelina, Kirtland, Lance, McRae, North Horn, Scollard, and Willow Creek Formations.

Tyrannosaurus rex mmartyniuk.png Sues skeleton.jpg

Ornithomimosaurs

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Ornithomimids reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

"Orcomimus"

unnamed

  • South Dakota34

An ornithomimid. Numem nudum

Ornithomimus17

O. velox17

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota35
  • South Dakota19

An ornithomimid. Hell Creek remains actually intermediate ornthimimids.

Ornithomimus velox.jpg

Struthiomimus19

S. sedens36

A large ornithomimid.36

Ornithomimid skeleton.jpg

Indeterminate19

  • North Dakota37
  • South Dakota19

Oviraptorosaurs

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Oviraptorosaurs reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Anzu1738

A. wyliei

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Anzu wyliei.png Chirostenotes skull.jpg

Leptorhynchos38

L. elegans

  • Montana

Alternately classified as a species of Leptorhynchos, L. elegans is originally known from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation. A partial caenagnathid foot, specimen MOR 752, from the Hell Creek Formation has sometimes been referred to E. elegans.

Eumaniraptorans

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Eumaniraptorans reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Acheroraptor39

A. temertyorum 39

  • Montana39
  • North Dakota?
  • South Dakota?

Partial skull (one isolated maxilla, one dentary), teeth.39

A velociraptorine dromaeosaurid. Teeth previously referred to Campanian dromaeosaurids Saurornitholestes and Dromaeosaurus, frequently found throughout the formation, probably belong to this one species. Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages.39

Acheroraptor reconstruction.jpg

Dromaeosaurus40

D. cf. albertensis40

  • Montana
  • South Dakota

Teeth

Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages, which may render these taxa invalid.39

Dromaeosaurus, Ottawa.jpg

Saurornitholestes40

S. langstoni40

  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota

Teeth

Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages, which may render these taxa invalid.39

Saurornitholestes digging Burrows wahweap.jpg

Richardoestesia41

R. isosceles

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Teeth

Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages, which may render these taxa invalid.39

Richardoestesia isosceles.png

R. cf. gilmorei

  • North Dakota

Teeth

Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages, which may render these taxa invalid.39

Richardoestesia.png

  • Indeterminate
  • South Dakota

Teeth

Evans et al. conclude that there is little evidence for more than a single dromaeosaurid taxon, A. temertyorum, in the Hell Creek-Lance assemblages, which may render these taxa invalid.39

cf. Paronychodon17

Indeterminate

  • Montana17
  • North Dakota18
  • South Dakota19

Teeth

Indeterminate troodontid

Paronychodon.png

Troodon17

T. formosus17

  • Montana17
  • South Dakota19

Teeth

Troodontid teeth similar to the older Troodon formosus

Troodon Perot Museum.jpg

Avisaurus17

A. archibaldi17

  • Montana17

Two adult and one juvenile specimens, all based on lower leg elements.citation needed

An enantiornithine.

Cimolopteryx17

C. maxima17

  • Montana17

almost exclusively from a number of coracoids (a bone in the shoulder girdle). These have a distinct enough anatomy, .citation needed

An Charadriiformes.

Cimolopteryx.jpg

Brodavis42

B. baileyi42

  • South Dakota42

Left tarsometatarsus missing proximal end, trochleae II and III.42

A hesperornithiform.42

"Unnamed hesperornithiform A"43

Indeterminate

  • Montana43

Tarsometatarsus

A primitive hesperornithiform.43 In addition to fossils from the Hell Creek Formation, Longrich, Tokaryk and Field (2011) assigned specimen RSM P 2315.1 from the Canadian Frenchman Formation to this taxon as well; 43 subsequently Martin, Kurochkin and Tokaryk (2012) made this particular specimen the holotype of the species Brodavis americanus.42

"Unnamed ornithurine B"43

Indeterminate44

  • Montana45

Partial coracoid

An ornithurine possibly similar to Cimolopteryx4344

"Unnamed ornithurine C"43

Indeterminate

Partial coracoid

An ornithurine, also present in the Fort Union Formation, the only individual bird species known to have survived the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction43

"Unnamed ornithurine D"43

Indeterminate

Partial coracoid

An ornithurine43

Pterosaurs

Pterosaurs of the Hell Creek Formation
Taxa Species Location Description Images

Quetzalcoatlus46

Q. northropi47

  • Montana47

A single azhdarchid neck bone may belong to the genus Quetzalcoatlus, thought are not diagnostic to the generic level.47

Life restoration of a group of giant azhdarchids, Quetzalcoatlus northropi, foraging on a Cretaceous fern prairie.png

Crocodylomorphs

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Crocodylomorphs reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Borealosuchus48

  • B. sternbergii48
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota

Borealosuchus species.jpg Borealosuchus wilsoni 1.jpg

Brachychampsa48

  • B. montana48
  • Montana

Brachychampsa sp. - Natural History Museum of Utah - DSC07244.JPG

Thoracosaurus48

  • T. neocesariensis48

Thoracosaurus macrorhynchus - Maastricht.jpg

Turtles

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Turtles reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Adocus49

Indeterminate49

  • Montana50

Adocidae - Adocus punctatus.jpg

Compsemys49

C. victa49

  • Montana50

Emarginachelys

E. cretacea

  • Montana

A relative of chelydrids.51

Snapping turtle 2 md.jpg

Eubaena49

E. cephalica49

  • Montana50

Gamerabaena

G. sonsalla

  • North Dakota

Hoplochelys51

H. clark51

  • North Dakota51

A kinosternoid related to the Central American river turtle.51

Sternotherus odoratus.jpg

Trionyx49

Indeterminate49

  • Montana50

Trionychidae - Trionyx messelianus.JPG

Squamates

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
squamates reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Cemeterius5253

C. monstrosus5253

  • Montana52

A platynotan lizard of uncertain phylogenetic placement, also known from the Lance Formation.52

Cerberophis5253

C. robustus5253

  • Montana52

An alethinophidian snake of uncertain phylogenetic placement.52

Obamadon5253

O. gracilis5253

  • Montana52

A polyglyphanodontian lizard of uncertain phylogenetic placement. Also known from the Lance Formation.52

Peneteius52

P. aquilonius52

  • Montana52

A chamopsiid polyglyphanodontian lizard.52

Choristoderans

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Choristoderans reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Champsosaurus48

C. sp.48

Champsosaurus BW.jpg

Mammals

Multituberculates

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Multituberculates reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Cimexomys54

C. minor54

  • Montana54

A multituberculate of uncertain phylogenetic placement.

Cimexomys minor.jpg

Cimolodon54

C. nitidus

  • Montana
  • North Dakota54

A cimolodontid multituberculate.

C. cf. nitidus54

  • South Dakota54

A cimolodontid multituberculate.

C. sp.54

  • North Dakota54

A cimolodontid multituberculate.

Cimolomys54

C. gracilis

  • Montana54

A cimolodontid multituberculate.

Ptilodus.jpg

  • C. cf. gracilis54
  • South Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

Essonodon54

E. browni54

  • Montana54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

Meniscoessus54

M. conquistus

  • South Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

M. robustus

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

Meniscoessus robustus.jpg

M. cf. robustus

  • South Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

M. sp.

  • North Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

?M. sp.54

  • North Dakota54

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

Mesodma54

M. formosa

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M. cf. formosa

  • Montana54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M. hensleighi

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M. cf. hensleighi

  • South Dakota54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M. thompsoni

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M. cf. thompsoni

  • Montana54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

M sp.54

  • Montana54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

?M sp.54

  • Montana54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

?Neoplagiaulax54

?N. burgessi54

  • Montana54

A neoplagiaulacid multituberculate.

Paracimexomys54

P. priscus54

  • Montana54

A multituberculate of uncertain phylogenetic placement.

Paressonodon55

P. nelsoni55

A cimolomyid multituberculate.

Metatherians

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Metatherians reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Alphadon54

A. marshi

  • Montana
  • North Dakota54

An alphadontid.

A. cf. marshi

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

An alphadontid.

A. wilsoni

  • Montana54

An alphadontid.

A. cf. wilsoni

  • Montana54

An alphadontid.

A. sp.54

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota54

An alphadontid.

Didelphodon54

D. padanicus

  • South Dakota54

A stagodontid.

D. vorax

  • Montana
  • North Dakota54

A stagodontid.

The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Didelphodon mandible.jpg Didelphodon Clean.png

D. cf. vorax

  • South Dakota54

A stagodontid.

D. sp.

  • North Dakota54

A stagodontid.

cf. D. sp.54

  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota54

A stagodontid.

Glasbius54

G. twitchelli

  • Montana54

A glasbiid.

G. cf. twitchelli54

  • Montana54

A glasbiid.

Leptalestes56

L. cooki

  • Montana54

A pediomyid.

L. krejcii56

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A pediomyid.

Nanocuris55

N. improvida55

A deltatheridiid.

Nortedelphys

N. jasoni (= N. intermedius)5755

  • Montana
  • South Dakota

A herpetotheriid.

Pediomys54

P. elegans54

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A pediomyid.

Protalphadon54

P. foxi

  • Montana54

An alphadontid.

P. lulli54

  • Montana54

An alphadontid.

Protolambda56

P. florencae

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota54

A pediomyid.

P. hatcheri56

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A pediomyid.

Turgidodon54

T. rhaister54

  • Montana54

An alphadontid.

Eutherians

Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Eutherians reported from the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species State Stratigraphic position Material Notes Images

Alostera54

A. saskatchewanensis54

  • Montana54

An eutherian of uncertain phylogenetic placement.

Batodon54

B. tenuis54

  • Montana54

A cimolestid eutherian.

Cimolestes54

C. cf. cerberoides

  • Montana54

A cimolestid eutherian.

C. incisus

  • Montana54

A cimolestid eutherian.

C. magnus

  • Montana
  • North Dakota54

A cimolestid eutherian.

C. propalaeoryctes

  • Montana54

A cimolestid eutherian.

C. stirtoni54

  • Montana54

A cimolestid eutherian.

Gypsonictops54

G. hypoconus

  • Montana
  • South Dakota54

A gypsonictopsid eutherian.

G. illuminatus

  • Montana
  • North Dakota54

A gypsonictopsid eutherian.

G. cf. illuminatus

  • Montana54

A gypsonictopsid eutherian.

G. sp.54

  • Montana54

A gypsonictopsid eutherian.

cf. Paranyctoides54

cf. Paranyctoides sp.54

  • Montana54

A nyctitheriid eutherian.

Protungulatum56

P. coombsi56

  • Montana56

An eutherian of uncertain phylogenetic placement; a basal eutherian or an arctocyonid condylarth.

Protungulatum donnae.JPG

Plants

Plant fossils from the upper, early Paleocene member of the Scollard Formation include the ferns Botrychium, Woodwardia and Azolla; the conifers Metasequoia and Glyptostrobus; the monocot Limnobiophyllum (a relative of duckweeds); and the dicots Cercidiphyllum and Platanus.5859 Hell Creek Formation flora of this layer and contains 300 tablets or more plants. Angiosperms, or flowering plants are by far the most diverse and dominant flora of the entire population of about 90 percent. But evergreen conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and flowering plants, including a variety of trees that do not belong to existence. Hell Creek is mixed hardwood forest of deciduous and evergreen forests and the apparent today is similar, but with a closer look at the current plant community is distinct. The jagged edges of example, a flowering plant with leaves in the forest any more than today's emerges. And today, in sharp contrast to the Montana and the presence of palm trees make the climate warmer than now tells us that.


Gymnosperms

Ginkgos

Angiosperms


Color key
Taxon Reclassified taxon Taxon falsely reported as present Dubious taxon or junior synonym Ichnotaxon Ootaxon Morphotaxon
Notes
Uncertain or tentative taxa are in small text; crossed out taxa are discredited.
Plant of the Hell Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Aquilapollenites

Aquilapollenites striatus

Ficus

Ficusplanicostata

Sycomoros old.jpg

Ilexpollenites

Ilexpollenites compactus

Interpollis

Interpollis cf. I. supplingensis

Marmarthia

Marmarthia pearsonii

Myrica

Myricatorreyi

Myrica faya.jpg

Platanites

Platanites marginata

Sabalites

Sabalites sp.

Tricolpites

Tricolpites interangulus

Metasequoia

Indeterminate

Casts of Dawn Redwood seed cones are known from the Hell Creek.

MetaseqLeaves.jpg

Cobbania

C. corrugata

A prehistoric species of water lettuce, previously assigned to the genus Pistia.

Araucaria

A. araucana

Casts of Monkey-puzzle leaves are found in Hell Creek.

Araucaria araucana cones.jpg

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Husson, D., Galbrun, B., Laskar, J., Hinnov, L. A., Thibault, N., Gardin, S., & Locklair, R. E. (2011). "Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous)". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 305 (3): 328–340. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.03.008. 
  2. ^ a b Pearson, D. A., Schaefer, T., Johnson, K. R., Nichols, D. J., & Hunter, J. P. (2002). Vertebrate biostratigraphy of the Hell Creek formation in southwestern North Dakota and northwestern South Dakota. Hartman et al, 145-167.
  3. ^ Johnson, K. R., Nichols, D. J., & Hartman, J. H. (2002). Hell Creek Formation: A 2001 synthesis. The Hell Creek Formation and the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary in the northern Great Plains: Geological Society of America Special Paper, 361, 503-510.
  4. ^ Listed as "cf. Barbourula sp." in "Class Amphibia," Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Class Amphibia," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Class Amphibia," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  7. ^ Listed as "Eopelobates? sp." in "Class Amphibia," Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4.
  8. ^ a b c d David G. Demar Jr. (2013). "A new fossil salamander (Caudata, Proteidae) from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation, Montana, U.S.A.". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33 (3): 588–598. doi:10.1080/02724634.2013.734887. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Class Osteichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 3.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h "Class Osteichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 3. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  11. ^ a b c d "Class Osteichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4.
  12. ^ a b c "Class Osteichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  13. ^ a b Listed as "cf. Paralbula casei" in "Class Osteichthyes," Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 4.
  14. ^ a b c d "Class Chondrichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 3.
  15. ^ a b "Class Chondrichthyes," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 3. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Todd D. Cook, Michael G. Newbrey, Donald B. Brinkman and James I. Kirkland (2014). "Euselachians from the freshwater deposits of the Hell Creek Formation of Montana". GSA Special Papers 503: 229–246. doi:10.1130/2014.2503(08). 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; Montana)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 584.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; North Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; South Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 586.
  20. ^ Listed as "Leptoceratops c.f. gracilis" in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; Montana)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 584.
  21. ^ Nicholas R. Longrich (2011). "Titanoceratops ouranous, a giant horned dinosaur from the Late Campanian of New Mexico". Cretaceous Research 32. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2010.12.007. 
  22. ^ Scannella, J. and Horner, J.R. (2010). "Torosaurus Marsh, 1891, is Triceratops Marsh, 1889 (Ceratopsidae: Chasmosaurinae): synonymy through ontogeny." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(4): 1157 - 1168. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.483632
  23. ^ "Table 23.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 496.
  24. ^ a b Campione, N.E. and Evans, D.C. (2011). "Cranial Growth and Variation in Edmontosaurs (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae): Implications for Latest Cretaceous Megaherbivore Diversity in North America." PLoS ONE, 6(9): e25186. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025186
  25. ^ a b Listed as "?Parasaurolophus walkeri" in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; Montana)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 584.
  26. ^ a b Listed as "?Thescelosaurus garbanii" in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; Montana)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 584.
  27. ^ Noted as being present, although misspelled as "Thescelosaurus garbani, in " "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; South Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 586.
  28. ^ Boyd, Brown, et al. (2009)
  29. ^ Listed as "c.f. Thescelosaurus sp." in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; North Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  30. ^ a b c d Bakker et al. (2006)
  31. ^ "Table 21.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 465.
  32. ^ Hutchinson and Chiappe, 1998. The first known alvarezsaurid (Theropoda: Aves) from North America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 18(3), 447-450.
  33. ^ "Table 5.1," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 113.
  34. ^ Triebold, 1997. The Sandy Site: Small Dinosaurs from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota. in Wolberg, Stump and Rosenberg (eds). Dinofest International: Proceedings of a Symposium sponsored by Arizona
  35. ^ Listed as "?Ornithomimus sp." in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; North Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  36. ^ a b Longrich (2008), pages 983-996.
  37. ^ Listed as "c.f. Struthiomimus sp." in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; North Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  38. ^ a b Lamanna, M. C.; Sues, H. D.; Schachner, E. R.; Lyson, T. R. (2014). "A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America". PLoS ONE 9 (3): e92022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092022. 
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Evans, D. C.; Larson, D. W.; Currie, P. J. (2013). "A new dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) with Asian affinities from the latest Cretaceous of North America". Naturwissenschaften. doi:10.1007/s00114-013-1107-5. 
  40. ^ a b c d "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; Yukon Territory, Canada)." In: Weishampel et al. Page 578.
  41. ^ Referenced by the original, obsolete spelling "Ricardoestesia" in "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous; North America; North Dakota)." Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  42. ^ a b c d e f Larry D. Martin, Evgeny N. Kurochkin and Tim T. Tokaryk (2012). "A new evolutionary lineage of diving birds from the Late Cretaceous of North America and Asia". Palaeoworld 21. doi:10.1016/j.palwor.2012.02.005. 
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Longrich, N.R., Tokaryk, T. and Field, D.J. (2011). "Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(37): 15253-15257. doi:10.1073/pnas.1110395108
  44. ^ a b "Class Aves," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 7.
  45. ^ "Class Aves," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 7. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  46. ^ Listed as "cf. Quetzalcoatlus sp." in Henderson and Peterson (2006) 192–195.
  47. ^ a b c Henderson and Peterson (2006) 192–195.
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h R. Matsumoto, S. E. Evans (2010). "Choristoderes and the freshwater assemblages of Laurasia". Journal of Iberian Geology 36 (2): 253–274. 
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h "Order Testudinata," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 5.
  50. ^ a b c d "Order Testudinata," in Estes and Berberian, (1970). Page 5. All taxa listed occur in Montana, see page 1.
  51. ^ a b c d e Georgia E. Knauss, Walter G. Joyce, Tyler R. Lyson and Dean Pearson (2011). "A new kinosternoid from the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota and Montana and the origin of the Dermatemys mawii lineage". Paläontologische Zeitschrift 85 (2): 124–142. doi:10.1007/s12542-010-0081-x. 
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Nicholas R. Longrich, Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar and Jacques A. Gauthier (2012). "Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109 (52): 21396–21401. doi:10.1073/pnas.1211526110. PMC 3535637. PMID 23236177. 
  53. ^ a b c d e f Nicholas R. Longrich, Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar and Jacques A. Gauthier (2013). "Correction for "Mass extinction of lizards and snakes at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary," by Nicholas R. Longrich, Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar, and Jacques A. Gauthier, which appeared in issue 52, December 26, 2012, of Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (109:21396–21401; first published December 10, 2012; 10.1073/pnas.1211526110)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (16): 6608. doi:10.1073/pnas.1303907110. 
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska, Richard L. Cifelli, and Zhe-Xi Luo, Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: Origins, Evolution, and Structure, Columbia University Press, New York, 2004 ISBN 0-231-11918-6, p. 98-99
  55. ^ a b c d e Gregory P. Wilson (2013). "Mammals across the K/Pg boundary in northeastern Montana, U.S.A.: dental morphology and body-size patterns reveal extinction selectivity and immigrant-fueled ecospace filling". Paleobiology 39 (3): 429–469. doi:10.1666/12041. 
  56. ^ a b c d e f g J. David Archibald, Yue Zhang, Tony Harper and Richard L. Cifelli (2011). "Protungulatum, confirmed Cretaceous occurrence of an otherwise Paleocene eutherian (placental?) mammal". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 18 (3): 153–161. doi:10.1007/s10914-011-9162-1. 
  57. ^ Thomas E. Williamson, Stephen L. Brusatte, Thomas D. Carr, Anne Weil and Barbara R. Standhardt (2012). "The phylogeny and evolution of Cretaceous–Palaeogene metatherians: cladistic analysis and description of new early Palaeocene specimens from the Nacimiento Formation, New Mexico". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 10 (4): 625–651. doi:10.1080/14772019.2011.631592. 
  58. ^ Chandrasekharam, A., 1974. Megafossil flora from the Genesee locality, Alberta, Canada. Palaeontographica, Abt. A, Band 174, 41 p.
  59. ^ Christophel, D.C., 1976. Fossil floras from the Smoky Tower locality, Alberta, Canada. Palaeontographica, Abt. B, Band 157, 43 p.

References

  • Bakker, R. T., Sullivan, R. M., Porter, V., Larson, P. and Saulsbury, S.J. (2006). "Dracorex hogwartsia, n. gen., n. sp., a spiked, flat-headed pachycephalosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota." in Lucas, S. G. and Sullivan, R. M., eds., Late Cretaceous vertebrates from the Western Interior. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 35, pp. 331–345. [1]
  • Boyd, Clint A.; Brown, Caleb M.; Scheetz, Rodney D.; Clarke; Julia A. (2009). "Taxonomic revision of the basal neornithischian taxa Thescelosaurus and Bugenasaura". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29 (3): 758–770. doi:10.1671/039.029.0328. 
  • Estes, R., and P. Berberian. 1970. Paleoecology of a late Cretaceous vertebrate community from Montana. Breviora volume 343, 35 pages.
  • Henderson, M.D. and Peterson, J.E. "An azhdarchid pterosaur cervical vertebra from the Hell Creek Formation (Maastrichtian) of southeastern Montana." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26(1): 192–195.
  • Longrich, N. (2008). "A new, large ornithomimid from the Cretaceous Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada: Implications for the study of dissociated dinosaur remains." Palaeontology, 54(1): 983-996.
  • Varricchio, D. J. 2001. Late Cretaceous oviraptorosaur (Theropoda) dinosaurs from Montana. pp. 42–57 in D. H. Tanke and K. Carpenter (eds.), Mesozoic Vertebrate Life. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. 861 pp. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.

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