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Eocene Mammals?


Scipio

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So with summer around the corner and me planning out my summer collecting trips I'm looking for a new place to try. Me having a wide range of likings when it comes to fossils have long been interested in having a try at Eocene mammals. So my question is: are there any sites available? I'm going to assume as with so many places they are locked up tight being on federal land most likely but I figure I would give a go. I know of a number of formations such as the Bridger, Powder River, and Wilwood but I assume they are off limits... correct?

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Unless you'd settle for marine mammals, it might be tough to find a publicly accessible site. Let's see what others say, though.

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Harry Pristis

Find a ranch in one of the well-know areas of exposure. Network or knock on doors in the area. Don't get caught collecting on BLM land.

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So with summer around the corner and me planning out my summer collecting trips I'm looking for a new place to try. Me having a wide range of likings when it comes to fossils have long been interested in having a try at Eocene mammals. So my question is: are there any sites available? I'm going to assume as with so many places they are locked up tight being on federal land most likely but I figure I would give a go. I know of a number of formations such as the Bridger, Powder River, and Wilwood but I assume they are off limits... correct?

Platycarpus,

If you're going to be in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, or Colorado and are interested in Eocene mammals, you should track down the landownership and geology info for whatever area you might be thinking about. Few people look for that these days - usually because Oligocene mammals are more common in some of the same regions and they are a little more familiar.

One early September day in the mid-90's I was in Powell, Park County, Wyoming to check out the Badlands there. Unfortunately, the night before I got food poisoning in Butte, Montana so I was out-of-action and heading for Denver the next day. It looked promising out there, though. You might start with that. The Willwood is one of the formations, Early Eocene, Wasatchian age - known for Hyracotherium (or whatever the new name or names), Coryphodon, Homogolax, Phenacodus, Hyopsodus, Cantius. The fauna is a mix of early representatives of today's mammal families and many groups that have no modern relatives). I've seen a variety of Eocene mammal jaw sections from that area. One guy found a lot of stuff back in the 70's or early 80's while visiting someone's ranch. I asked him about that a few years ago but he couldn't recall the name of the family nor exactly where he was. He might have not wanted to tell me in case he ever goes back.

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Platycarpus,

If you're going to be in Wyoming, Montana, Utah, or Colorado and are interested in Eocene mammals, you should track down the landownership and geology info for whatever area you might be thinking about. Few people look for that these days - usually because Oligocene mammals are more common in some of the same regions and they are a little more familiar.

One early September day in the mid-90's I was in Powell, Park County, Wyoming to check out the Badlands there. Unfortunately, the night before I got food poisoning in Butte, Montana so I was out-of-action and heading for Denver the next day. It looked promising out there, though. You might start with that. The Willwood is one of the formations, Early Eocene, Wasatchian age - known for Hyracotherium (or whatever the new name or names), Coryphodon, Homogolax, Phenacodus, Hyopsodus, Cantius. The fauna is a mix of early representatives of today's mammal families and many groups that have no modern relatives). I've seen a variety of Eocene mammal jaw sections from that area. One guy found a lot of stuff back in the 70's or early 80's while visiting someone's ranch. I asked him about that a few years ago but he couldn't recall the name of the family nor exactly where he was. He might have not wanted to tell me in case he ever goes back.

Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking the same approach, though I'm was and still am curious about any specific areas. I have worked in the Oligocene material for years so I have been hoping to expand my horizons when it comes to early mammalian fossil assemblages.

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Thanks for the feedback. I was thinking the same approach, though I'm was and still am curious about any specific areas. I have worked in the Oligocene material for years so I have been hoping to expand my horizons when it comes to early mammalian fossil assemblages.

One reference to start with is:

Bown, T.M., K.D. Rose, E.L. Simons, and S.L. Wing. 1994

Distribution and Stratigraphic Correlation of Upper Paleocene and Lower Eocene Fossil Mammal and Plant Localities of the Fort Union, Willwood, and Tatman Formations, Southern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1540.

It discusses localities and provides faunal lists and maps. You should be able to order it directly from the USGS (bought mine years ago at the office in Denver).

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  • 3 years later...
dejavoometoo

Thank you it is great to finally find a place that can help me identify a few fossils as well as interact with other collectors

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