Ferris Formation

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Ferris Formation
Stratigraphic range: Late Cretaceous
Type Geological formation
Underlies Hanna Formation
Overlies Medicine Bow Formation
Thickness 600-2,000 m
Lithology
Primary mudstone
Other sandstone
Location
Region North America

The Ferris Formation is a Late Cretaceous (~66 Ma) to Paleocene (66-63 Ma), fluvial-deltaic geological formation in southern Wyoming. It contains a variety of trace and body fossils, preserved in sandy fluvial channel deposits and overbank units. Dinosaur remains are fragmentary, but include Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, dromaeosaurids, Paronychodon, Ricardoestesia, Edmontosaurus, Edmontonia, Ankylosaurus, and Pachycephalosaurus.[1]

Some of the fluvial channels contain evidence of tidal influence and brackish water, in the form of tidal facies, shark teeth, and shrimp burrows. This demonstrates that the western shoreline of the Western Interior Sea was still within a few hundred kilometers even during the latest Cretaceous. The local K-T boundary is contained within a sandy channel deposit made up of stacked bars. Reworked Cretaceous fossils are preserved at the base of the channel complex, associated with mud rip-up clasts, and Paleocene mammal fossils are preserved in the upper portion of the bar.

The Ferris Formation is up to 2,000 m thick in the Hanna Basin and represents rapid accumulation of predominantly fine-grained sediment on a broad delta. The delta previously fed the deepwater Lewis Shale and shallow marine Fox Hills Formation. The Ferris followed behind as a system of lagoons, bays, and delta plain environments.

Vertebrate paleofauna[edit]

In addition to a variety of dinosaurs, the following taxa are known from the Ferris Formation:

Myledaphus,

Lissodus,

Cretorectolobus,

Phylodus,

Amia,

Lepisosteus,

Basilemys,

Adocus,

Trionychidae,

Leptochamops,

Brachychampsa,

Leidyosuchus,

and a variety of Cretaceous and Paleocene multituberculates, marsupial, and placentals.

Ornithischians[edit]

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.
Ornithischians of the Ferris Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Ankylosaurus[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Edmontonia[3]

E. rugosidens[3]

Stygimoloch[2]

S. spinifer[2]

Thescelosaurus[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Triceratops[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Ferris remains previously attributed to Triceratops have been subsequently identified as indeterminate chasmosaurine fossils.[2]

Saurischians[edit]

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.
Saurischians of the Ferris Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Aublysodon[2]

A. mirandus[2]

Dromaeosaurus[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Ornithomimus[4]

O. velox[4]

Paronychodon[2]

P. lacustris[2]

Ricardoestesia[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Saurornitholestes[2]

Indeterminate[2]

Struthiomimus[5]

Indeterminate[5]

Troodon[2]

T. formosus[2]

Tyrannosaurus[2]

T. rex[2]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Wroblewski (1995).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "3.12 Wyoming, United States; 9. Ferris Formation," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  3. ^ a b Listed as "Edmontonia cf. rugosidens" in "3.12 Wyoming, United States; 9. Ferris Formation," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  4. ^ a b Listed as "Ornithomimus cf. velox" in "3.12 Wyoming, United States; 9. Ferris Formation," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.
  5. ^ a b Listed as "cf. Struthiomimus sp." in "3.12 Wyoming, United States; 9. Ferris Formation," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 585.

References[edit]

  • Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. 861 pp. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  • Wroblewski, Anton F. (1995), First report of changes in lower vertebrate faunas across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, western Hanna Basin, Wyoming: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Supp. to volume 15, p. 61A.