The Campanian Terlingua local fauna, with a summary of other vertebrates from the Aguja Formation, Trans-Pecos Texas

Timothy Rowe, Richard L. Cifelli, Thomas M. Lehman, Anne Weil

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The Terlingua local fauna is a rich assemblage of predominantly terrestrial micro vertebrates from the Upper Cretaceous Aguja Formation of Trans-Pecos Texas. Marine invertebrates (which include elements of both Cretaceous Western Interior and Gulf Coast zoogeographic provinces) from conformably underlying strata suggest that the fauna is of late Campanian age, probably correlative with Judithian assemblages of the Western Interior. A Judithian "age" for the fauna is further supported by its mammal and theropod assemblages, and by the faunas of overlying deposits. The previously reported diversity of the Aguja Formation, which we summarize, is significantly enriched by this new fauna. The fauna also fills a major gap in the biogeography of Campanian terrestrial vertebrates. Notable occurrences in the Terlingua local fauna include the therian mammal Gallolestes, previously known only from Baja California, and a hitherto unrecorded type of primitive ‘tribothere.' At least 4 marsupial and 6 multituberculate taxa are present, several of which represent new taxa. Squamates comprise at least 10 taxa, including xenosaurs, necrosaurs, glyptosaurines, scincids, teiids, and a snake, several of which represent new taxa. In addition, the fauna includes at least 7 dinosaurs, 1 pterosaur, 2 crocodylomorphs, 3 turtles, 3 lissamphibians, 3 actinopterygians, and 8 chondrichthyans. Wood, amber, leaves, seeds, pollen, molluscs, and dinoflagellates are also preserved. The fauna is not strictly comparable to others from the Western Interior. It includes taxa that are either endemic or otherwise known only from relatively low latitudes, indicating an appreciable degree of latitudinal differentiation among Campanian terrestrial faunas bordering the Western Interior seaway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-493
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Dec 1992


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