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[dinosaur] Mammals from Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, Utah + Metatheria diversity + mammal species (free pdfs)

Ben Creisler

Some recent mammal papers with free pdfs:

Brian M. Davis, Richard L. Cifelli & Guillermo W. Rougier (2018)Â
A preliminary report of the fossil mammals from a new microvertebrate locality in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, Grand County, Utah.Â
Geology of the Intermountain West 5(1): 1-8

Free pdf:

The first Mesozoic mammals in North America were discovered in the Morrison Formation during the closing decades of the 19th century, as by-products of dinosaurs quarried by teams led by O.C. Marsh. These tiny fossils served as foundational specimens for our understanding of Mesozoic mammal evolution. There are now nearly 25 mammal-bearing localities known from the Morrison Formation, distributed across the Western Interior from the Black Hills to southern Colorado and west into Utah; the most historically important of these are in Wyoming (e.g., Como Quarry 9). Most Morrison mammals are known by jaws or jaw fragments, and several important Mesozoic groups (e.g., docodonts, dryolestoids, and to a large extent triconodonts and symmetrodonts) were established based on Morrison material, shaping the perception of mammalian diversity on a global scale. Despite heavy sampling of coeval sites elsewhere, the Morrison remains the most systematically diverse (at high taxonomic levels) assemblage of Jurassic mammals in the world.

Here, we describe two mammalian specimens and highlight other remains yet to be fully identified from a new microvertebrate locality in the Morrison Formation of eastern Grand County, Utah. The site is positioned low in the Brushy Basin Member and is similar in lithology and stratigraphic level to the famous small vertebrate localities of the Fruita Paleontological Area, located less than 50 km to the northeast. In addition to small archosaurs and squamates, limited excavation to date has yielded at least 20 mammalian specimens representing a minimum of six taxa, several of which are new and quite different from typical Morrison taxa. Preservation is generally excellent and includes partially articulated cranial and postcranial elements of small vertebrates. This new site has great potential to contribute new taxa and more complete morphological data than typical Morrison localities, underscoring the importance of continued field work in the Morrison.


C. Verity Bennett, Paul Upchurch, Francisco J. Goin & Anjali Goswami (2018)
Deep time diversity of metatherian mammals: implications for evolutionary history and fossil-record quality
Paleobiology (advance online publication
doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/pab.2017.34

Despite a global fossil record, Metatheria are now largely restricted to Australasia and South America. Most metatherian paleodiversity studies to date are limited to particular subclades, time intervals, and/or regions, and few consider uneven sampling. Here, we present a comprehensive new data set on metatherian fossil occurrences (Barremian to end Pliocene). These data are analyzed using standard rarefaction and shareholder quorum subsampling (including a new protocol for handling LagerstÃtte-like localities).

Global metatherian diversity was lowest during the Cretaceous, and increased sharply in the Paleocene, when the South American record begins. Global and South American diversity rose in the early Eocene then fell in the late Eocene, in contrast to the North American pattern. In the Oligocene, diversity declined in the Americas, but this was more than offset by Oligocene radiations in Australia. Diversity continued to decrease in Laurasia, with final representatives in North America (excluding the later entry of Didelphis virginiana) and Europe in the early Miocene, and Asia in the middle Miocene. Global metatherian diversity appears to have peaked in the early Miocene, especially in Australia. Following a trough in the late Miocene, the Pliocene saw another increase in global diversity. By this time, metatherian biogeographic distribution had essentially contracted to that of today.

Comparison of the raw and sampling-corrected diversity estimates, coupled with evaluation of âcoverageâ and number of prolific sites, demonstrates that the metatherian fossil record is spatially and temporally extremely patchy. Therefore, assessments of macroevolutionary patterns based on the raw fossil record (as in most previous studies) are inadvisable.


Connor J. Burgin, Jocelyn P. Colella, Philip L. Kahn & Nathan S. Upham (2018)
How many species of mammals are there?Â
Journal of Mammalogy 99(1): 1â14,Â
doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyx147

Accurate taxonomy is central to the study of biological diversity, as it provides the needed evolutionary framework for taxon sampling and interpreting results. While the number of recognized species in the class Mammalia has increased through time, tabulation of those increases has relied on the sporadic release of revisionary compendia like the Mammal Species of the World (MSW) series. Here, we present the Mammal Diversity Database (MDD), a digital, publically accessible, and updateable list of all mammalian species, now available online: https://mammaldiversity.org. The MDD will continue to be updated as manuscripts describing new species and higher taxonomic changes are released. Starting from the baseline of the 3rd edition of MSW (MSW3), we performed a review of taxonomic changes published since 2004 and digitally linked species names to their original descriptions and subsequent revisionary articles in an interactive, hierarchical database. We found 6,495 species of currently recognized mammals (96 recently extinct, 6,399 extant), compared to 5,416 in MSW3 (75 extinct, 5,341 extant)âan increase of 1,079 species in about 13 years, including 11 species newly described as having gone extinct in the last 500 years. We tabulate 1,251 new species recognitions, at least 172 unions, and multiple major, higher-level changes, including an additional 88 genera (1,314 now, compared to 1,226 in MSW3) and 14 newly recognized families (167 compared to 153). Analyses of the description of new species through time and across biogeographic regions show a long-term global rate of ~25 species recognized per year, with the Neotropics as the overall most species-dense biogeographic region for mammals, followed closely by the Afrotropics. The MDD provides the mammalogical community with an updateable online database of taxonomic changes, joining digital efforts already established for amphibians (AmphibiaWeb, AMNHâs Amphibian Species of the World), birds (e.g., Avibase, IOC World Bird List, HBW Alive), non-avian reptiles (The Reptile Database), and fish (e.g., FishBase, Catalog of Fishes).

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