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Fanti & Miyashita 2009

I am proud (being the illustrator :-)) to announce the publication of

Fanti F., Miyashita T., 2009. A high latitude vertebrate fossil assemblage from 
the Late Cretaceous of west-central Alberta, Canada: evidence for dinosaur 
nesting and
vertebrate latitudinal gradient. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, 
Palaeoecology 275 (2009) 37?53

This study reports on a new microvertebrate locality from the Campanian (c74 
My) fluvial beds of theWapiti
Formation in the Grande Prairie area (west-central Alberta, Canada). This 
locality represents deposition on a
low-gradient, waterlogged alluvial plain approximately 300 km to the north west 
of the Bearpaw Sea.
Detailed sedimentological analyses suggest an environment characterized by a 
high-sinuosity channel
system responsible for widespread oxbow lakes, bogs and marshes. A total of 260 
identifiable elements were
recovered from three distinct sites at the Kleskun Hill Park, documenting a 
diverse terrestrial and fresh-water
palaeocommunity. The recovered fossils include those from hatchling- to 
nestling-sized hadrosaurid
dinosaurs, indicating the presence of a nesting ground in the area. This is the 
first evidence for dinosaur
nesting site in the Wapiti Formation and simultaneously an extremely rare 
evidence of high-latitude
dinosaur nesting, the northernmost in North America to date. A large number of 
teeth of the small theropod
Troodon are associated with baby hadrosaurids in the site supporting a northern 
affinity of this taxon as well
as a previously proposed predator?prey association. Other dinosaurs are less 
common at the locality and
include large and small theropods (i.e. tyrannosaurid, Saurornitholestes, 
Richardoestesia, Paronychodon, and
dromaeosaurid) and five ornithischian taxa. Fish, squamate, turtle, and mammal 
elements were also
identified. Collectively, the vertebrate fossil assemblage from the locality 
allows palaeocommunity
reconstruction in the Wapiti Formation. The importance of the data collected 
from the new locality is
twofold: first, they represent the first comprehensive report from a 
geographically significant area located
between the well-sampled fossil localities of southern Alberta and the 
high-latitude localities of Alaska.
Furthermore, the reconstructed vertebrate fauna support latitudinal gradient of 
vertebrate distribution along
the Western Interior region during the Late Cretaceous


Lukas Panzarin