Prince Creek Formation

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Prince Creek Formation
Stratigraphic range:
Late Cretaceous-Paleocene, 80–60 Ma
Nanuqsaurus distribution map.png
General location of the Prince Creek Formation, in red
Type Geological formation
Sub-units Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry, Kogosukruk Tongue, Ocean Point, Coleville River Bluff
Underlies Sagavanirktok Formation
Overlies Schrader Bluff Formation
Lithology
Primary sandstone, mudstone[1]
Other siltstone, carbonaceous shale, ash-fall[1]
Location
Region  Alaska
Country  USA

The Prince Creek Formation is a geological formation in Alaska with strata from the early Campanian stage of the Upper Cretaceous to the Danian of the Paleocene, between 80 and 60 million years ago. Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.[2]

Age[edit]

The Prince Creek Formation aged from 80 to 60 million years ago. The Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry, where almost all of the dinosaur fossil are from, is located near the middle of the formation, and is about 70.6 to 69.1 million years ago.[3][4] A lower section, the Kogosukruk Tongue, ages from 72 to 71 million years ago, in the latest Campanian.[5] The youngest part of the formation is Ocean Point, which extends into the Paleogene, at the end of the Danian, based on the age of ostracods and mollusks.[6] In the middle of the formation is the Coleville River Bluff, which extends from the Late Campanian to the Middle/Late Maastrichtian, in which pollen spores are common.[7]

Habitat[edit]

During the time when the Prince Creek Formation was deposited, the earth was going through a greenhouse phase. The rocks in it are alluvial, and were, at the time of burial, on a muddy coastal plain. Leafy plants, roots and pollen are known from the formation, and they show that trampling by dinosaurs was common. It can be proven that during the Maastrichtian the Prince Creek Formation bordered a large body of water by the presence of gypsum and pyrite in nearby rock. Large amounts of plants material are represented by peridonoid dinocysts, algae, fungal hyphae, fern and moss spores, projectates, Wodehouseia edmontonicola, hinterland bisaccate pollen, and pollen from trees, shrubs, and herbs. Concluded on the large amounts of dinosaurs and flora, the Prince Creek Formation was likely a polar woodland lacking ground ice with dinosaurs dominating and angiosperms towering above them. The mean temperature was 5-6 °C, with the mean temperature during the cold months being 2-4 °C and the mean temperature during the warm months being 10-12 °C. Mean annual precipitation was 500-1500mm/year.[1]

Vertebrate paleofauna[edit]

Dinosaurs[edit]

Theropods[edit]

Indeterminate tyrannosaurid remains present, mostly in the form of teeth. The teeth are from the Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry, Liscomb Quarry, and Byers Bed, totaling 8 teeth.[8]

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.
Theropods of the Prince Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Dromaeosaurus[8][9]

D. cf albertensis[8][9]

Liscomb Quarry[8]

Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry[8]

Byers Bed[8]

Middle Maastrichtian[3]

Fossilized teeth[8]

Dromaeosaurus BW.jpg

Nanuqsaurus[3]

N. hoglundi[3]

Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry[3]

Middle Maastrichtian[3]

One partial skull including a bone near the front of the maxilla and the front of the lower jaw.[3]

Nanuqsaurus is a dwarf tyrannosaurid closely related to Lythronax, Tyrannosaurus, and Tarbosaurus.[3]

Nanuqsaurus.png

Saurornitholestes[8][9]

S. cf. langstoni[8][9]

Old Bone Beach[8]

Teeth[8]

Saurornitholestes digging Burrows wahweap.jpg

Troodon[3]

T. sp[3]

Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry[3]

Liscomb Quarry[8]

Byers Bed[8]

Magical Mystery Bar[10]

Middle Masstrichtian[3]

Dental remains,[3] including teeth.[8]

Remains of T. sp. are approximately 50% larger than specimens from Alberta and Montana.[3] Remains were previously assigned to T. formosus.[9] The most abundant theropod.[10]

Troodon Perot Museum.jpg

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 Prince Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Alaskacephale[11]

A. gangloffi[11]

Kogosukruk Tongue[12]

Late Campanian[5]

A squamosal, and the back of the dome.[5]

The first pachycephalosaurine from Alaska discovered.[5]

Alaskacephale gangloffi copia.jpg

Pachyrhinosaurus[4][13]

P. perotorum[4][13]

Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry[4]

Early Maastrichtian, approximately 69 mya[4]

An abundance of skeletal remains,[4] including an immature juvenile.[13]

The youngest of the Pachyrhinosaurus species, found in one of the highest latitudes of centrosaurine discoveries.[4] A discovery in the Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry was identified in 2013 as a juvenile of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum. This discovery shows that the crest started to develop in the front of the snout, then extending farther back until it reaches the eye.[13]

Pachyrhinosaurus Perotorum Alaska copyright web.jpg Perot Museum Pachyrhinosaurus.jpg

Parksosaurus?[14]

Indeterminate[14]

Teeth[14]

Remains previously attributed to Thescelosaurus.[14]

Parksosaurus Steveoc86.jpg

Ugrunaaluk[15]

U. kuukpikensis

Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry[4]

Early Maastrichtian

Juvenile specimens

An edmontosaurin saurolophine hadrosaur related to Edmontosaurus.

Indeterminate[14]

Indeterminate[14]

One tooth[14]

A single "hypsilophodontid" cheek tooth not attributable to Parksosaurus or Thescelosaurus.[14]

Birds[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.
Birds of the Prince Creek Formation
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Gruipeda

G. vegrandiunis

Denali Park

Footprints from a small bird.

Plants[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.
Plants of the Prince Creek Formation[7]
Genus Species Location Stratigraphic position Abundance Notes Images

Paxataxodium[12]

P. wigginsii[12]

Kogosukruk Tongue[12]

Late Campanian[5]

A conifer, one of two from the region.[12]

Hollickia[12]

H. quercifolia[12]

Kogosukruk Tongue[12]

Late Campanian[5]

Leaves[12]

An angiosperm, known from leaves.[12]

Quereuxia[12]

Q. angulata[12]

Kogosukruk Tongue[12]

Late Campanian[5]

An aquatic angiosperm.[12]

Equisetites[12]

E. sp.[12]

Kogosukruk Tongue[12]

Late Campanian[5]

A sphenophyte.[12]

Pulcheripollenites

P. krempii

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

cf. Proteacidites

cf. P. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

cf. Polycingulatisporites

cf. P. reduncus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Podocarpidites

P. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Ovoidites

O.? sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

O. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

O. parvus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

O. arcticus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Osmundacidites

O. wellmanii

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Common in the Early Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Mantonisporites

M. sp. indet

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Mancicorpus

M. pseudosenonicus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Lycopodiacidites

L. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Lunatadinium

L. dissolutum

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Indeterminate

Indeterminate

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Septate fungal hypha.

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Leosphaeridia

L. "stellata"

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Common in the Early Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Lairidordites

L. magnus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Laegivatosporites

L. spp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Indeterminate remains abundant in the Early Maastrichtian, and still numerous in the Late Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

L. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Kurtzipites

K. trispissatus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Integricorpus

I. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Ischyosporites

I. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Ischyosporites

I. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Inundatisporis

I. tappaniae

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Impardecispora

I. marylandensis

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Hannisporis

H. scollardensis

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

H. amplus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Gleicheniidites

G. senonicus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Foveosporites

F sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Foraminisporis

F. undulosus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Fibulapollis

F. scabratus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Expressipollis

cf. E. accuratus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Erdtmannipollis

E. procumbentformis

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Dictyophyllidites

D. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Deltoidospora

D. spp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Late Maastrichtian

Preserved pollen samples

Very abundant in the early Maastrichtian and Indeterminate level of the formation, becoming rarer until the Middle/Late Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Cycadopites

C. fragilis

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Samples of distinct pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Crassispora?

cf. C. apisulacea

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen samples

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

cf. Converrucosisporites

cf. C. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Specimens of preserved pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Clavatisporites

C. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Preserved pollen samples

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Circulodinium

C. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen samples

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Cingutriletes

cf. C. congruens

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Cingulizonates

C. bialatus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen samples

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Cicatricosisporites

C. sp. 1

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Distinct pollen remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

C. spp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Preserved pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

cf. C. dorogensis

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Fossilized pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Cibotiumspora

C. sp.

Coleville Bluff Formation

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spores

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Camarozonosporites

C. ambigens

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen specimens

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Botryococcus

B. braunii

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Botryococcus braunii.jpg

Indeterminate

Indeterminate

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Late Maastrichtian

Bissacate gymnosperm pollen

Common and abundant in the Early Maastrichtian, becoming rarer towards the Late Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Balmeisporites

B. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen spore remains

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Azonia

cf. A. cribrata

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Carbonized pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Aquilapollenites

A. trialatus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

A. spp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

A. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

cf. A. dentatus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

A. amygdaloides

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Numerous in the Late Campanian, becoming abundant in the Maastrichtian. Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Annulispora

A. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Anacololsidites

A. sp. 1

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

A. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Alete

A. clavate

Coleville River Formation

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Aequitriradites

cf. A. spinulosus

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

Aequitriradite

A. sp.

Coleville River Bluff

Late Campanian to Early Maastrichtian

Pollen

Also found in the Schrader Bluff Formation.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Flaig, P.P.; McCarthy, P.J.; Fiorillo, A.R. (2013). Driese, S.G.; Nordt, L.C., eds. "New Frontiers in Paleopedology and Terrestrial Paleoclimatology: Paleosols and Soil Surface Analog Systems". SEPM Special Publication. 104: 179–230. doi:10.2110/sepmsp.104.14.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ Weishampel, David B; et al. (2004). "Dinosaur distribution (Late Cretaceous, North America)." In: Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 574-588. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Fiorillo, A. R.; Tykoski, R. S. (2014). Dodson, Peter, ed. "A Diminutive New Tyrannosaur from the Top of the World". PLoS ONE. 9 (3): e91287. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091287. PMC 3951350Freely accessible. PMID 24621577. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Fiorillo, A.R.; Tykoski, R.S.T. (2012). "A new species of the centrosaurine ceratopsid Pachyrhinosaurus from the North Slope (Prince Creek Formation: Maastrichtian) of Alaska". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 57: 561–573. doi:10.4202/app.2011.0033. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Gangloff, R.A.; Fiorillo, A.R.; Norton, D.W. (2005). "The First Pachycephalosaurine (Dinosauria) from the Paleo-Arctic of Alaska and its Paleogeographic Implications". Journal of Paleontology. 79 (5): 997–1001. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2005)079[0997:tfpdft]2.0.co;2. 
  6. ^ Marincovich, L.; Brouwers, E. M.; Carter, L. D. (1985). "Early Tertiary marine fossils from northern Alaska: Implications for Arctic Ocean paleogeography and faunal evolution". Geology. 13 (11): 770. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1985)13<770:ETMFFN>2.0.CO;2. 
  7. ^ a b Flores, R.M.; Myers, M.D.; Houseknecht, D.W.; Stricker, G.D.; Brizzolara, D.W.; Ryherd, T.J.; Takahashi, K.I. (2007). "Stratigraphy and Facies of Cretaceous Schrader Bluff and Prince Creek Formations in Colville River Bluffs, North Slope, Alaska" (PDF). U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper. 1748: 52. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Fiorillo, A.R.; Gangloff, R.A. (2000). "Theropod Teeth from the Prince Creek Formation (Cretaceous) of Northern Alaska, with Speculations on Arctic Dinosaur Paleoecology". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 20 (4): 675–682. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2000)020[0675:ttftpc]2.0.co;2. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "3.33 Alaska, United States; 3. Prince Creek Formation," in Weishampel, et al. (2004). Page 587.
  10. ^ a b Fiorillo, A.R.; Tykoski, R.S.; Currie, P.J.; Mccarthy, P.J.; Flaig, P. (2009). "Description of two partial Troodon braincases from the Prince Creek Formation (Upper Cretaceous), North Slope Alaska". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29 (1): 178–187. doi:10.1080/02724634.2009.10010370. 
  11. ^ a b Sullivan, R.M. (2006). "A taxonomic review of the Pachycephalosauridae (Dinosauria: Ornithischia)". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 35: 347–365. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Spicer, R.A.; Parrish, J.T. (1987). "Plant Megafossils, Vertebrate Remains, and Paleoclimate of the Kogosukruk Tongue (Late Cretaceous), North Slope, Alaska". In Hamilton, Thomas D.; Galloway, John P. Geologic Studies in Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey circular. pp. 47–48. 
  13. ^ a b c d Fiorillo, A.R.; Tykoski, R.S. (2013). Farke, Andrew A., ed. "An Immature Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae) Nasal Reveals Unexpected Complexity of Craniofacial Ontogeny and Integument in Pachyrhinosaurus". PLoS ONE. 8 (6): e65802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065802. PMC 3686821Freely accessible. PMID 23840371. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Brown, C.M.; Druckenmiller, P. (2011). "Basal ornithopod (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) teeth from the Prince Creek Formation (early Maastrichtian) of Alaska". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 48: 1342–1354. doi:10.1139/e11-017. 
  15. ^ Mori, Hirotsugu; Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Erickson, Gregory M. (2015). "A new Arctic hadrosaurid from the Prince Creek Formation (lower Maastrichtian) of northern Alaska". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 61. doi:10.4202/app.00152.2015. 

References[edit]

  • Flaig, P.P. (2010). "Depositional Environments of the Late Cretaceous (Maaastrichtian) Dinosaur-Bearing Prince Creek Formation: Colville River Region, North Slope, Alaska". Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertations, The University of Alaska-Fairbanks: 311. 
  • Flaig, P.P.; McCarthy, P.J.; Fiorillo, A.R. (2011). "From River to Rock Record: The Preservation of Fluvial Sediments and their Subsequent Interpretation". SEPM Special Publication. 97: 233–264.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  • Flaig, P.P.; Fiorillo, A.R.; McCarthy, P.J. (2014). "Dinosaur-bearing hyperconcentrated flows of Cretaceous Arctic Alaska—Recurring catastrophic event beds on a distal paleopolar coastal plain". PALAIOS. 29 (11): 594–611. doi:10.2110/palo.2013.133. 
  • Weishampel, David B.; Dodson, Peter; and Osmólska, Halszka (eds.): The Dinosauria, 2nd, Berkeley: University of California Press. 861 pp. ISBN 0-520-24209-2.