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31 December 2020 Marsupials (Mammalia, Metatheria) from the Brule Formation (Whitneyan, Oligocene) North Dakota
William W. Korth, Clint A. Boyd, Robert J. Emry, Jeff J. Person
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Abstract

Five marsupial species are recognized from the Brule Formation at two localities in southwestern North Dakota: Fitterer Ranch and Obritsch Ranch (middle Oligocene; Whitneyan North American Land Mammal Age [NALMA]). The herpetotheriids Herpetotherium fugaxCope, 1873a, Copedelphys superstes new species, and the peradectid Nanodelphys hunti (Cope, 1873b) are represented at both localities. A fourth species is H. sp., cf. H. merriami (Stock and Furlong, 1922), represented by a single specimen from Fitterer Ranch, being limited elsewhere to the later Arikareean NALMA. A fifth species is represented by two isolated lower cheek teeth, interpreted as m1s, from Fitterer Ranch that are unique in lacking a trigonid (only two cusps present) while having a well-developed talonid. These specimens are referred to an indeterminate herpetotheriine species. The new species of Copedelphys is distinct from other species of the genus in that the anterior two lower molars are enlarged relative to the posterior molars. Overall, this new species is more similar in proportions to the latest Eocene (Chadronian) C. titanelix (Matthew, 1903) than the Oligocene (Orellan and Whitneyan) C. stevensoni (Cope, 1873b). This study adds a third and fourth Whitneyan marsupial fauna from the Great Plains region of North America, increases the known diversity of Whitneyan marsupials, and provides further evidence that marsupial diversity during the late Paleogene in North America was relatively stable until the late early Arikareean NALMA.

Copyright © 2020, The Paleontological Society
William W. Korth, Clint A. Boyd, Robert J. Emry, and Jeff J. Person "Marsupials (Mammalia, Metatheria) from the Brule Formation (Whitneyan, Oligocene) North Dakota," Journal of Paleontology 95(1), 193-204, (31 December 2020). https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2020.41
Accepted: 3 June 2020; Published: 31 December 2020
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