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Centrosaurus Taphonomy Paper



I ran across this paper the other day, and dont remember seeing it posted to
list yet.  A search of the archives also yielded nothing, so here it goes:

PALAIOS, 2001, Volume 16, page 482-506

The Taphonomy of a Centrosaurus (Ornithischia: Ceratopsidae) Bone Bed from
the Dinosaur Park Formation (Upper Campanian), Alberta, Canada, with
Comments on Cranial Ontogeny

Michael J. Ryan, Anthony P. Russell, David A. Eberth, Philip J. Currie

Bone bed 43 is one of at least eight paucispecific Centrosaurus bone beds
located in the Dinosaur Park Formation (Upper Campanian) in Dinosaur
Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada.  It long has been used as a case example
for evidence of herding and social behavior in dinosaurs, but a detailed
analysis of the site has not been presented until this study.  The bone bed
is dominated by the disarticulated, mostly fragmentary and slightly abraded
remains of Centrosaurus apertus, with minor occurences of other taxa,
notably teeth from the large tyrannosaurid Albertosaurus libratus.  Fossils
occur in a stacked to amalgamated succession of lag deposits, deposited and
reworked at the erosional base of a paleochannel.  The most parsimonious
scenario suggests that Centrosaurus material represents part of a large
aggregation of animals (possibly numbering in the thousands) that died by
drowning on the alluvial plain.  Disarticulation occurred at a point upriver
from the bone-bed site.  Scavenging by theropods, primarily Albertosaurus,
at or near the original site of death is suggested by the high number of
shed theropod teeth.  A subsequent event prior to fossilization moved the
material to its present location removing many juvenile-sezed and
hydrodynamically light elements from the original death assemblage.
Evidence for distinct size classes amongst the preserved elements is not
supported by the data, but the size range of elements preserved are
representative of living individuals that would have ranged from small
juveniles to mature adults.  The large data base of specimens from bone bed
43 allows for the illustration of the ontogenetic changes that occured in
the diagnostic cranial elemtns of Centrosaurus.



Regards,
Randall Irmis