AN INVENTORY OF PALEONTOLOGICAL

RESOURCES FROM THE NATIONAL PARKS

AND MONUMENTS IN COLORADO

REBECCA SCOTT (1), VINCENT L. SANTUCCI (2), AND TIM CONNORS (3)

(1) Bodie State Historic Park, PO Box 515, Bridgeport, CA 93517;

(2) Fossil Butte National Monument, PO Box 592, Kemmerer, WY 83101;

(3) National Park Service, Geologic Resources Division, 12795 West Alameda Parkway,

Academy Place, Room 480, Lakewood, CO 80227

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Abstract—The National Park Service (NPS) currently administers eleven park units within the state of Colorado. Most of these parks and monuments have been established and are recognized for their significant geologic features. Two monuments in Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, were specifically established for their significant paleontological resources. Fossiliferous rocks of Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and/or Cenozoic age have been identified in all of the National Park System units in Colorado. In 2000, the first comprehensive inventory of paleontological resources in the national parks and monuments of Colorado was initiated. A wide diversity of fossilized plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and trace fossils has been documented. Paleontological resources identified from within the parks and monuments have been assessed for their scientific significance, potential threats, and management as non-renewable resources. Baseline paleontological resource data obtained during this survey will assist National Park Service staff with management of the paleontological resources and protection of fossils within their park.

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PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION

The paleontological resources in the national parks and monuments of Colorado provide valuable information about ancient plants and animals and their environment. Fossils are recognized as non-renewable resources that possess both scientific and educational values. The NPS manages fossils along with other natural and cultural resources for the benefit of the public. All fossils from NPS areas are protected under federal law and their collection is prohibited except under the terms of a research permit.

Paleontological resources are exhibited in a number of national parks and monuments in Colorado. The Quarry Visitor Center at Dinosaur National Monument provides visitors with the opportunity to view the world famous dinosaur bone-bearing rock wall as an in situ exhibit. Several thousand macrofossils, representing 110 species, have been collected from Mesa Verde National Park and there are excellent displays of fossils at the park. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument has an in situ exhibit of giant petrified stumps, Sequoia affinis, along an interpretive trail.

More comprehensive paleontological resource inventories are underway in a number of the NPS units in Colorado. These surveys are designed to identify the scope, significance, and distribution of the paleontological resources and to assess any natural or human-related threats to these ancient remains. Fossils reported from areas adjacent to the parks and monuments are also considered in this study in order to assess the potential for stratigraphically equivalent resources within park boundaries. Baseline paleontological resource data will enable park staff to enhance the management, protection, research and interpretation of park fossils.

Ongoing and future paleontological research in the various NPS units within the state of Colorado will expand our knowledge of the fossil record and the ancient environments in which these organisms lived.

BENT'S OLD FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site (BEOL) was authorized on June 3, 1960 as a national historic site to preserve one of the important trading centers on the Sante Fe Trail. The site is one of the smaller NPS areas administered in Colorado. The fort is located on the flood plain of the Arkansas River in the southeastern part of the state.

Bedrock at Bent's Old Fort consists of Cretaceous rocks identified as the Bridge Creek Member of the Greenhorn Limestone Formation. The Greenhorn is overlain by approximately twelve feet (3.6 m) of Pleistocene (Wisconsinan) sands and gravel deposited between 11,000 and 8,000 years ago. This unit is overlain with clayey sand that is also of Wisconsin age (Moore, 1973).

Twenty-eight specimens of the rudist Durania cornupastoris were collected from the Bridge Creek Member of the Greenhorn Limestone just outside the park boundaries (Cobban et al., 1985). Rudists are an extinct group of bivalved (pelecypod) mollusks. The rudist-producing bed in the Bridge Creek Member extends into the national historic site; thus, the potential for this resource in the park also exists.

A fragmentary mammoth tusk was discovered at Bent's Old Fort by Jackson Moore, a NPS archeologist. Tusk fragments were collected by Jackson between 1963 and 1966. The remains were found in a gravel bed overlying a white limestone unit at the historic site (Moore, 1973). The fragments have been tentatively identified as Mammothus columbi (personal communication, Nancy Russell, 2000). According to the park's museum records, an additional three mammoth tusk fragments were found in 1992 by archeologist Jerry Dawson.

BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK

Black Canyon of the Gunnison (BLCA) was originally proclaimed a national monument on March 2, 1933, to preserve a twelve mile stretch of river gorge carved by the Gunnison River in west-central Colorado. The Monument was given wilderness designation on October 20, 1976 and was later redesignated as a national park on October 21, 1999.

Hansen (1987) provides a comprehensive overview of the geology of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Hansen (1971) published a geologic map, which includes the national park. During 1999 and 2000, the National Park Service Geologic Resources Division produced a digital geologic map for BLCA, compiling maps by Hansen, at 1:24,000 scale.

The geologic setting of BLCA consists of a sequence of Precambrian rocks including arkosic sandstones, graywackes, and granite (Hansen, 1967). Renewed crustal movement in the area accompanied the intrusion of the Vernal Mesa and Curecanti plutons (Hansen, 1981). Most of the Paleozoic section in the park has been eroded away before or during the time of the Uncompahgre uplift. The only evidence of Paleozoic rocks in the canyon are diabase dikes dating to the Cambrian or Ordovician.

During the Jurassic, sediments accumulated on the older Precambrian rocks in the Black Canyon area. The Entrada, Wanakah, and Morrison formations preserve Jurassic paleoenvironments in the park, but these are poorly exposed within BLCA. Fiorillo (1996) reports on a Morrison Formation vertebrate locality within the boundaries of BLCA with the most significant fossil locality being a badly weathered sauropod bone impression found on the North Rim (Fiorillo, 2001, personal communication). One locality in the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation, located just outside of the park, has yielded fragments of a theropod posterior caudal vertebra, a sauropod rib, and numerous other dinosaur bone fragments (Anonymous, 1990).

Overlying the Morrison Formation are the Cretaceous Burro Canyon Formation, Dakota Formation and Mancos Shale (Hansen, 1971). A few marine invertebrate fossils are known from the Mancos Shale in the park. A series of Tertiary volcanic eruptions covered the area with lava flows, breccias, and tuffaceous deposits including the West Elk Breccia (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Stratigraphy of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area.
Stratigraphy of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area

COLORADO NATIONAL MONUMENT

Colorado National Monument (COLM) was established by presidential proclamation on May 24, 1911. The Monument is located in the west-central portion of Colorado along the eastern margin of the Colorado Plateau and preserves scenic sheer-walled canyons and towering monoliths.

COLM contains rocks dating from the Precambrian to the Cretaceous. Basement rock consists of Precambrian schist and gneiss. During the Paleozoic, the area was uplifted forming the Uncompahgre Highlands. Precambrian rocks are overlain by Mesozoic sedimentary units including, from oldest to youngest, the Chinle Formation, Wingate Sandstone and Kayenta Formation. The Triassic Chinle Formation is the oldest sedimentary formation in the COLM and unconformably overlies Precambrian crystalline rocks, reflecting a major unconformity. All of the sedimentary units in the park are Mesozoic. A theropod track site was discovered in the Chinle Formation in 1990 (A. Hunt, personal communication, 1999). The Grallator-like track site is located near the east entrance to the Monument.

Where the Kayenta has been removed; the Wingate Sandstone weathers into rounded domes and forms most of the named features within the Monument (Dubiel, 1992). The Entrada Sandstone of the Jurassic San Rafael Group is usually salmon colored and crossbedded: it is topped by the Wanakah. The Entrada Sandstone of Rattlesnake Canyon has been referred to as the second largest concentration of arches in the world and is of a different origin than the arches at Arches National Park. The Morrison Formation overlies the San Rafael Group and is fossiliferous. The Morrision Formation consists of the Tidwell, Salt Wash and the Brushy Basin Member (Turner and Fishman, 1991). The Jurassic section is topped by the Cretaceous Burro Canyon Formation and Dakota Sandstone (Fig. 2).

In 1900, a famous dinosaur discovery was made in an area just outside of the current boundary of COLM. Elmer Riggs uncovered the forelimb of a sauropod dinosaur (Camarasaurus grandis) in the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation (Armstrong and Kihm, 1980). The site is marked today with an historic marker and is a local tourist stop known as Dinosaur Hill.

During 1977, an inventory of the Morrison Formation in COLM documented fourteen fossil localities (Callison, 1977). Fossils identified during the inventory included bivalves, gastropods, turtles, crocodilians, and dinosaurs, including an ischium of a dryosaur. Most of the specimens were found in the lower Salt Wash Member or Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation. In 1985, many of these sites were resurveyed by George Engelmann yielding unionid bivalves, gastropods, and a sauropod caudal vertebra (Armstrong and Kihm, 1980). Engelmann and Fiorillo (2000) resurveyed these sites again in 1995 and reported several new sites. Only one of the original sites inventoried in 1977, specifically the site adjacent to the Black Ridge Trail, appears to have been vandalized (Engelmann, personal communication, 2000).

A historic newspaper clipping in the COLM files indicates that a mastodon tooth was found in 1965 in Thoroughfare Canyon. The tooth was reportedly discovered by Dr. Jack Roadifer, a local geologist. The whereabouts of the specimen are currently unknown.

Ichnofossils in COLM, all of which occur in the Chinle Formation, include Scoyenia gracilis, Koupichnium nopsca and Camborygma (Hasiotis, 1997), crayfish burrows, and plant roots (rhizoliths. Horseshoe crab traces were discovered in the lower units of the Tidwell Member of the Morrison Formation (Hasiotis et al., 1996), representing the first report of these traces from Jurassic rocks.

 

Figure 2. Stratigraphy of Colorado National Monument.
Stratigraphy of Colorado National Monument

CURECANTI NATIONAL RECREATIONAL AREA

Curecanti National Recreational Area (CURE) has been administered under a cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and the NPS since February 11, 1965. The site contains three reservoirs: Morrow Point Lake, Crystal Lake, and Blue Mesa Lake. Blue Mesa Lake is the largest lake in Colorado with a surface area of 14 square miles.

The geologic setting is similar to that of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The park is recognized for having exposures of rocks that date to over 1.7 billion years in age, making these rocks among the oldest in western North America. (Fiorillo and Harris, 2000) (Fig. 1).
Dinosaur excavation at Curecanti National Recreation Area

Figure 3. Dinosaur excavation at Curecanti National Recreation Area.

The Brushy Basin Member and the Salt Wash Member of the highly fossiliferous Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation are exposed at CURE. Trujillo (2000) prepared a detailed report documenting the paleontological field activities undertaken at the Dino Cove locality at CURE where the remains of two dinosaur taxa have been recovered from the Morrison Formation. The remains have been identified as a sauropod (cf. Apatosaurus sp.) and the theropod Allosaurus sp. (Fig. 3) (Fiorillo etal., 1995, 1996). There is a reptilian caudal vertebra in the park museum collection (Frank, personal communication, 2000). Conchostracans are very abundant in the Morrison at Curecanti, one location is Dino Cove (Fiorillo and May, 1996). There are several types of ichnofossils preserved within the Morrison Formation at CURE including crayfish burrows, termite nests, root casts and unionid clam burrows found near Red Creek (Fiorillo and Harris, 2000; Fiorillo, 1999; Fiorillo and McCarty, 1996). The invertebrate trace fossils predominantly occur in sandstone layers and suggest that during periods of non-deposition there were an abundance of small life forms (Fiorillo, 1999).

The first collection of Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) vertebrate remains from western Colorado come from Haystack Cave, located just outside of the CURE boundary. Specimens include remains identified as cf. Miracinonyx trumani, Equus sp. and Phenacomys intermedius (Emslie, 1986; Jefferson, personal communication, 2001; see Appendix A).

DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT

Dinosaur National Monument (DINO) was established by presidential proclamation on October 4, 1915. The site was originally established to protect the famous dinosaur quarry discovered in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation by Carnegie Museum paleontologist Earl Douglass. The Monument was enlarged in 1938 to include the spectacular canyons cut by the Green and Yampa Rivers.

Although the dinosaur-producing Morrison Formation has been the principal focus at DINO, the geologic record extends from the Precambrian through the Cretaceous. For more information on the geology of DINO, see Gregson and Chure (2000), Untermann and Untermann (1954, 1969), Hansen et al. (1983), and Hansen (1996).

The oldest sedimentary rocks within DINO are in the Precambrian Uinta Mountain Group. Hansen (1996) reported on fossilized algal globules Chuaria sp. from the Uinta Mountain Group near Manila, Utah, about 70 miles north of the Monument. Thus there is a potential for these fossils in the Monument.

The Upper Cambrian Lodore Formation consists of variegated, glauconitic shales and sandstones that contain marine invertebrates and trace fossils. Brachiopods, gastropods, and trilobites have been identified from the Lodore Formation in DINO (Herr, 1979; Herr et al., 1982; Hansen, 1996).

Corals, brachiopods, gastropods, and echinoderms are preserved, but rare, in the Lower Mississippian Madison Limestone (Hansen et al., 1983). Upper Mississippian brachiopods, fish, and coal beds are present in the Doughnut Formation (Hansen et al., 1983). The Lower Pennsylvanian Round Valley Limestone contains bryozoans, brachiopods, mollusks, and echinoderms (Hansen et al., 1983). Sponge spicules, corals, brachiopods, echinoid spines, crinoids, foraminifera, and conodonts are common in the marine facies of the Middle Pennsylvanian Morgan Formation (Driese, 1982).

The Permian Park City Formation (equivalent to the Phosphoria Formation farther north) consists of limestone, sandstone, and some chert layers (Fig. 4). Marine invertebrates including brachiopods, bivalves, cephalopods, gastropods, and other invertebrates have been found in this unit (Hansen et al., 1983).

 

Figure 4. Stratigraphy of Dinosaur National Monument.
Stratigraphy of Dinosaur National Monument


Peabody (1948) studied some unusual reptile tracks in the Lower Triassic Moenkopi Formation in the vicinity of DINO. These include some swimming traces now in the collections of the Utah Field House Museum of Natural History in Vernal, Utah. Scoyenia traces have been reported from the Moenkopi at DINO (Lockley et al., 1990).

In the 1960's an important vertebrate tracksite was discovered just northeast of DINO. Today over two dozen tracksites have been identified within the Monument. Numerous tracksites have been discovered in the Upper Triassic Popo Agie and Chinle Formations. Fossil tracks are diverse and include those identified from dinosaurs, mammal-like reptiles, phytosaurs, aetosaurs, lepidosaurs, trilophosaurs, and tanystropheids (Lockley et al., 1990, 1992a, 1992b, 1992c; Hunt et al., 1993). Among these is a swimming trackway of Gwyneddichnium that shows webbing between the toes. In addition, there are examples of both walking and swimming types of these tracks. Horseshoe crab-like tracks and petrified wood are documented from the Chinle Formation at DINO.

Tridactyl theropod tracks and a rich Otozoum tracksite are known from the Lower Jurassic Glen Canyon Sandstone, which is equivalent to the Glen Canyon Group farther south and the Nugget Sandstone farther west and north (Lockley et al., 1992a; Santucci et al., 1998). The Middle Jurassic Carmel Formation is a shallow marine deposit that locally contains gypsiferous beds. Bivalves, gastropods, echinoderms, and a few rare tridactyl vertebrate tracks have been reported from the Carmel Formation near DINO.

Chure (1993) reported on three plesiosaur specimens that may have been collected from the Redwater Member of the Stump Formation (Middle to Upper Jurassic) near the western boundary of DINO. Belemnites, ammonites, gastropods, and bivalves occur in the Middle Jurassic Curtis Member of the Stump Formation in the DINO area.

The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation is widely recognized as one of the most prolific dinosaur-bearing units in the world. In addition to dinosaurs, the Morrison Formation has produced important collections of Jurassic mammals and other vertebrates (Chure and Engelmann, 1989). The Morrison Formation at DINO contains four members including, from oldest to youngest, the Windy Hill, Tidwell, Salt Wash, and Brushy Basin Members (Turner and Peterson, 1999).
Paleontologist Earl Douglass during the excavation of a Diplodocus skeleton in the Douglass Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, circa 1923

Figure 5. Paleontologist Earl Douglass during the excavation of a Diplodocus skeleton in the Douglass Quarry at Dinosaur National Monument, circa 1923).

Utah's first theropod dinosaur (also recognized as the second dinosaur discovered in Utah) was found in 1870 near what is today DINO (Marsh, 1871; Bilbey and Hall, 1999). Earl Douglass made his famous discovery of the dinosaur bonebed in 1909. Under Douglass' direction the Carnegie Museum worked the site until 1922. During 1923, the U.S. National Museum (Smithsonian Institution) paleontologists collected a specimen of Diplodocus, which was mounted for display in that museum (Fig. 5). In 1924, the University of Utah collected a skeleton of Allosaurus from the quarry. Holland (1912, 1915, 1916, and 1924) and Gilmore (1924, 1925a, 1925b, 1926, 1932, 1936a, and 1936b) published extensively on the dinosaur discoveries from DINO.

Theodore White was hired as the Monument's first paleontologist in 1953. White focused his attention on the preparation of the in situ bone-bearing layer and talking with the public about the world of dinosaurs. He hired and trained two maintenance men, Tobe Wilkins and Jim Adams, to expose in relief the bones on the Carnegie Quarry cliff face. White published both scientific and popular articles about the fossils at DINO (White, 1958, 1964). White liked to call himself the "Chief Ramrod of the Hammers and Chisels" until his retirement in 1973 (Ann Elder, written communication, 1999). Russ King, Dan Chure, Ann Elder, and Scott Madsen have recently worked as staff paleontologists at DINO (Chure, 1987, 1992; Chure and McIntosh, 1990). Elder (1999) provides an historical overview of the Carnegie Quarry at DINO.

Between 1989 and 1992, George Engelmann conducted a comprehensive paleontological survey of the Morrison Formation at DINO (Engelmann, 1992). More than 270 fossil sites were recorded during the survey. Most of the sites were dinosaur bone localities, but sites containing plant remains, invertebrates, and small vertebrates were also reported.

A number of new dinosaurs have been collected in recent years from DINO. In 1990, the first large carnivorous theropod dinosaur was collected from the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation (Chure and Madsen, 1993; Chure et al., 1993). Chure (1994) reported on the oldest known troodontid dinosaur that was recovered from the Monument. A partial skeleton of a hatchling dinosaur, identified as Camptosaurus, was discovered at the Monument in 1991 (Chure et al., 1992) and represents the only hatchling of this genus known in the fossil record.

Chure et al (1989) reported on non-mammalian vertebrates collected from the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison in DINO. Evans and Chure (1999) reported on lizards from the Morrison Formation that were collected in the Monument. The remains of the turtle Glyptops sp. and the crocodile Goniopholis sp. have been collected from the Monument. Several tiny frog skeletons and many isolated frog bones have been collected from a Brushy Basin microvertebrate locality in DINO. These amphibian remains represent at least four different species of frogs including Comobatrachus sp., Eobatrachus sp., and a new pipoid anuran (Henrici, 1992, 1993, 1998).

Engelmann et al (1989) reported on microvertebrates, including mammals that have been collected from quarries in DINO. The quarries are in the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison and have yielded hundreds of isolated teeth and a few partial jaws. The skull of a new multituberculate, Glirodon grandis, was also found at the Monument (Engelmann and Callison, 1999). Other mammals identified include a triconodont, a symmetrodont, at least two species of dryolestids, and a paurodontid.

Yen and Reeside (1950) described freshwater mollusks from the Morrison Formation. Sohn and Peck (1963) identified the ostracode Theriosynoecum wyomingense as a guide fossil to the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation.

Ash (1993, 1994) reported on an unusual leaf Czechanowskia sp. from the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation in the Monument. This plant is considered by some as an indicator of humid paleoclimates, but, the discovery of this plant in deposits of an alkaline-saline lake farther south brings this interpretation into question (Turner and Fishman, 1991). A gingko leaf locality occurs in the middle of the Brushy Basin Member . Tidwell (1990) reported on a plant locality in Orchid Draw in the western part of DINO. A palynological (fossil pollen) assessment of the Morrison Formation, including several sites within the Monument, was conducted by Litwin et al (1998).

Recent evidence shows that dermestid beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) borings (Fig. 6) are preserved in dinosaur bones collected from the Carnegie Quarry (Hasiotis, et al., 1999). These trace fossils suggest subaerial exposure of the dinosaur carcasses prior to burial and represent the earliest evidence of dermestids in the paleontological record.
Small borings on the surface of dinosaur bone from Carnegie Quarry, Dinosaur National Monument

Figure 6. Small borings on the surface of dinosaur bone from Carnegie Quarry, Dinosaur National Monument.

Recent work in the Lower Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation has produced some spectacular fossil specimens. One site in particular, a river-deposited bonebed, has yielded a nearly complete articulated sauropod skull, elements of a second disarticulated sauropod skull, numerous sauropod post-cranial elements, and a few isolated theropod bones. Though only a preliminary analysis of these fossils has been completed, the cranial materials appear to be some of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod specimens found in North America (A. Elder, written communication, 1999).

The Dakota Formation of Late Early or Early Late Cretaceous age consists of shoreface and terrestrial strata deposited along the western margin of the western interior seaway. Petrified wood and fragmentary invertebrate remains have been found in the Dakota. Fish scales and bones are locally abundant in the Upper Cretaceous Mowry Shale, while bivalves, ammonites, and shark teeth are also known from this unit within DINO. The Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation contains bivalves, gastropods, ammonites, petrified wood, and some thin coal beds. The Mancos Shale is not well exposed in the Monument, but locally this unit is very fossiliferous and preserves a high diversity of marine invertebrates. Ammonites are reported from the Mancos Shale at Ashley Creek and Brush Creek near the Monument (Kennedy and Cobban, 1991).

Sharpe (1991) reported on the Quaternary and Holocene flora in DINO that was collected to assess vegetational changes.

FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (FLFO) was established by presidential proclamation on August 20, 1969 to preserve the unique fossil insects and plants found in the area. The Monument is located in central Colorado approximately 35 miles west of Colorado Springs near the town of Florissant.
petrified tree stump at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Figure 8. Petrified tree stump at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

The Florissant area is underlain by Precambrian Pike's Peak granite. This unit has a distinctive pink color and was formed more than one billion years ago. The massive granitic pluton was uplifted during the Late Cretaceous Laramide Orogeny (approximately 65-70 million years ago) (Meyer and Weber, 1995). Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments were eroded away during the uplift, and a widespread erosion surface developed by Late Eocene time.

The Wall Mountain Tuff (36.6 million years old) unconformably overlies the Pike's Peak granite in the vicinity of Florissant and is exposed in isolated outcrops (Henry, et al., 1996). It is believed that the source of the Wall Mountain Tuff was the Mt. Princeton caldera (Wobus, personal communication, 2000). The Florissant Formation overlies the Wall Mountain Tuff and is composed of shales interbedded with volcaniclastic deposits (Fig. 7). Early eruptions from the Thirty-Nine Mile volcanic complex produced lahars (mudflows) that buried the giant redwoods and other trees with 13-16 feet of debris. An influx of silica-rich water saturated tree stumps and preserved them by permineralization, which accounts for the preservation of cellular structure in the stumps (Fig. 8). The lahar layer containing the petrified stumps is the lowest layer in the Florissant Formation. Subsequent volcanic eruptions, also from the Thirty-Nine Mile volcanic field, impounded the stream drainage to the south and formed ancient Lake Florissant. Plant debris and insects were trapped within the volcanic sediments that slowly washed into the lake. Diatoms flourished in the lake and contributed to the sedimentation processes by forming mats. These mats contribute to the preservation of the insect and plant fossils (Harding and Chart 2000). These sediments compacted over time forming fossiliferous "paper-shales".

 

Figure 7. Stratigraphy of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
stratigraphy of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

 

Petrified tree stump on display at Disneyland, California
Figure 9. Petrified tree stump on display at Disneyland, California. The stump was collected by Walt Disney from Florissant prior to the site's establishment as a national monument.

Although the first official report of the fossil beds was published in 1874 by A.C. Peale of the Hayden Survey, the first known collection of the fossil deposits was made in 1871 by Theodore Meade (Meyer and Weber, 1995). Other research has been done by Shaler from Harvard and Cockerell from the University of Colorado To date, the Florissant Formation has yielded more that 50,000 specimens, representing approximately 140 species of plants and 1400-1500 species of insects. The world's most diverse collection of fossil butterflies has come from Florissant, representing 12 species (not including moths). The most common plants found at Florissant are Fagopsis longifolia and Cedrelospermum lineatum sp., extinct members of the Beech Family (Betulaceae) and Elm Family (Ulmaceae), respectively. The flora represents a much warmer temperate to nearly tropical climatic regime than what is found here today. Paleoclimates were calculated using floristic and physiognomic methods and different lapse rates. The Mean Annual Temperature (MAT) at Florissant during the Late Eocene has been estimated at approximately 10.7°-14°C (Meyer, 1986, 1992; Wolfe, 1992; Gregory and Chase, 1992) with an estimated paleoaltitude of 6230 - 10,500 feet (Meyer, 1992).

One of the most famous of the Florissant fossils is no longer part of the park but is on display at Disneyland in California (Fig. 9). During the summer of 1956, Walt Disney visited the private Pike Petrified Forest (later to become Florissant Fossil Beds) and purchased a petrified tree stump. According to the plaque placed on the tree at Disneyland, the stump is seven feet six inches in diameter, weighs five tons and came from a tree whose original height was estimated at 200 feet (letter, Walt Disney Archives, 1999).

There are currently 59 fossil localities identified at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. The Monument's museum database contains historic information about each specimen, accompanied by a digital photo. A bibliographic database has also been developed by the paleontology staff at the Monument to include all publications related to the geology and paleontology of the Florissant area. A new database is being developed to compile all the most recent taxonomic designations for all plant and insect species.

GREAT SAND DUNES NATIONAL MONUMENT

Great Sand Dunes National Monument (GRSA) was established by presidential proclamation on March 17, 1932. The Monument received wilderness designation on October 20, 1976 and was upgraded to a national monument and preserve on November 22, 2000. It will become a national park as soon as a land purchase is completed. The Park is located in south central Colorado in the San Luis Valley and preserves the tallest sand dunes in North America. Individual dunes can reach 700 feet in height. The dunes cover approximately 39 square miles along the western edge of the Sangre de Cristo Range. The sand dunes were created by northeast winds transporting quartz sands and volcanic debris across this valley and depositing them at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The Great Sand Dunes area consists of thin layers of alluvium between layers of lava and tuff. These deposits are Miocene in age and are known as the Sante Fe Formation (Fig. 10). This unit is overlain by post-Miocene sands and clays of the Alamosa Formation (Merk, 1960). Johnson (1967) provides a more comprehensive overview of Great Sand Dunes geology. Bruce and Johnson (1991) published a geologic map that includes the Great Sand Dunes.

The Park museum collection contains some crinoid columnals and a rock specimen with the casts of three partial brachiopods. These brachiopod specimens were collected along the Mosca Pass Trail. A mammoth femur and bison phalange have also been collected in the park.

Figure 10. Stratigraphy of Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Stratigraphy of Great Sand Dunes National Park

HOVENWEEP NATIONAL MONUMENT

Hovenweep National Monument (HOVE), in southwestern Colorado, was established by presidential proclamation on March 2, 1923. The site preserves a concentration of Pre-Columbian cliff dwellings, pueblos, and towers. The Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation is exposed along the south edge of Hovenweep National Monument. Locally the Burro Canyon Formation (Lower Cretaceous) and the Dakota Sandstone (Upper Cretaceous) cap the fluvial deposits of the Morrison Formation (Fig. 11).

The only report of paleontological resources from the Monument is an unidentified bone fragment found by Mike Hylland, a Utah Geological Survey geologist (M. Hayden, written communication, 1999). Although there are not many reports of fossils from within the Monument, judging from their nearby, invertebrate fossils most likely are present in HOVE (Santucci, 2000).

Figure 11. Stratigraphy of Hovenweep National Monument.
Stratigraphy of Hovenweep National Monument

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK

Mesa Verde National Park (MEVE) was established by Congress on June 26, 1906 to preserve the famous Anasazi cliff dwellings and ruins of the southwestern Colorado high mesas. The park received wilderness designation on October 20, 1976 and World Heritage Site designation on September 6, 1978.

Mesa Verde National Park lies on a broad, flat-topped mesa with deeply cut and steep-walled canyons. The canyons are oriented north-south reflecting the regional dip of the rocks to the south. Wanek (1954 and 1959) provides a comprehensive overview of the geology of Mesa Verde National Park.

The oldest exposed geologic unit in the park is the Upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale (Fig. 12). The Dakota Sandstone directly underlies the Mancos Shale in southwest Colorado, but the Dakota is not exposed in the Park. A few fine specimens of Tempskya sp. were collected from the Dakota Sandstone adjacent to the park. These specimens were sent to Dr. Bill Tidwell who concluded that these specimens probably represent a new species and are younger than any other known specimens of this taxa.

Figure 12. Stratigraphy of Mesa Verde National Park.
Stratigraphy of Mesa Verde National Park

The 2000-foot-thick Mancos Formation was deposited in a fluctuating inland sea, mostly far from shore. The type section of the Mancos is exposed below Point Lookout on the north side of Mesa Verde National Park. Pike (1947) originally identified five faunal zones in the 2191-foot section of Mancos Shale at the park. A detailed revision of the type section divided the formation into eight distinct faunal and lithologic units (Kirkland, et al., 1995; Leckie, et al., 1997).

The oldest member of the Mancos is the Graneros Shale Member, about 79 feet thick. The Graneros does not crop out within the park boundaries, but is found a short distance to the north. The lowest part of this bentonite-rich member has a very limited fauna, but in the upper part is an almost solid bed of small oysters, Pycnodonte newberryi (Stanton) (Hook and Cobban, 1977). These oysters indicate warm and shallow water conditions. Some cephalopods, gastropods, and shark teeth also occur in this oyster bed.

Above the Graneros Shale, about 45 feet of the Bridge Creek (Greenhorn) Limestone Member of the Mancos is found. The Bridge Creek Limestone crops out north of the Mesa Verde National Park capping small erosion remnants of the soft Graneros Shale. It contains a varied molluscan fauna including numerous inoceramids of the genus Mytiloides, and ammonites of the genera Mammites, Watinoceras, Baculites, Kamerunoceras and others (Leckie, et al, 1997, p. 171-173). The Bridge Creek Limestone does not contain many fossils in Mesa Verde National Park, but it has a very rich assemblage of fossils to the east near Pueblo, Colorado (Cobban and Scott, 1972). Pyritized clams are known from this unit in the park.

About 92 feet of light gray Fairport Shale overlies the Bridge Creek Limestone. The shales are soft and include many thin bentonite seams. The most common fossils are found in beds crowded with juvenile Collignoniceras woollgari (Mantell). No adult C. woollgari are found in these beds, but small oysters, fragmentary inoceramids, barnacle fragments and shark teeth occur in association with the ammonites.

Overlying the Fairport Member of the Mancos, is nearly 250 feet of dark gray, sparsely fossiliferous Blue Hill Shale. The Blue Hill does not crop out within the Mesa Verde Park boundaries and is not easily recognized topographically.

The Juana Lopez Member of the Mancos is the oldest part of the formation to crop out within the park. The widespread, highly fossiliferous Juana Lopez consists of approximately 140 feet of calcareous shale and beds of solid calcarenite. Calcarenite is composed of sand-sized grains of calcium carbonate, mostly broken fragments of mollusk shells and some recrystallized calcite. It is relatively resistant to erosion and caps many of the small buttes along the north edge of the park. The calcarenite is a dark solid rock in freshly broken specimens, but weathers a characteristic rusty color in most outcrops. The Juana Lopez is highly fossiliferous, especially in the calcarenite layers. Ammonites and bivalves are common and well preserved. The most common and stratigraphically useful ammonites are the several species of Prionocyclus; P. macombi Meek, P. wyomingensis Meek, P. novimexicanus (Marcou), and P.quadratus Cobban; the Scaphites, S. warreni Meek and Hayden, and S. whitfieldi Cobban, and the Baculites, B. undulatus d'Orbigny, and B. yokoyami Tokunaga and Shimizu. Four faunal zones within the Juana Lopez are based on these ammonites. Bivalves Inoceramus dimidius White, Inoceramus perplexus Whitfield, and Nicaisolopha lugubris (Conrad) are also useful guide fossils in this member of the Mancos Formation. Some silt, but no quartz sand, is present, as these sediments were laid down in quiet water far from a source of coarse clastics.

About 50 feet of calcareous shale named the Montezuma Valley Member overlie the Juana Lopez (Leckie, et al., 1997). Numerous prionocyclids, scaphites, baculites, bivalves, inoceramids, and oysters occur in this sequence of shales but not in the abundance of those found in the Juana Lopez.

Nearly 300 feet of limy shales and limestone overlie the Montezuma Valley Member of the Mancos. This unit is correlated with the Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Formation. The Smoky Hill forms prominent benches around the north edge of the Mesa Verde. The oyster Pseudoperna congesta (Conrad) encrusts very large Inoceramus (Volviceramus) grandis (Conrad) and form compact solid beds within the Smoky Hill, which makes an easily recognized stratigraphic horizon. Scaphites depressus (Reeside) and Baculites codyensis Reeside are found in the middle part of the Smoky Hill sequence, and in the upper part are inoceramids such as Inoceramus (Platyceramus) platinus(Logan, I. (Endocostea) balticus Boehm, I. (Magadiceramus) subquadratus Schluter and the ammonites Desmoscaphites bassleri (Reeside) and Scaphites hippocrepis (DeKay).

The uppermost portion of the Mancos Formation consists of almost 1300 feet of sandy shale and thin shaly sandstones, previously referred to as the Transitional Zone. Leckie (1997) has named it the Cortez Member. It represents the beginning of a regressive stage of deposition and consists of shallow water, near shore deposits. Within this thick sequence fossils are sparsely scattered, and include baculites, occasional scaphites, a Placenticeras planum Hyatt, and rarely the crinoid Uintacrinus.

Overlying more than 2000 feet of the Mancos Formation is the Mesaverde consisting of three formations from the oldest to the youngest: the Point Lookout, Menefee, and Cliff House.

The Point Lookout Formation consists of a series of about 300 feet of thick sandstones deposited in shallow water and along beaches of a regressing sea. The contact with the upper Cortez Member of the Mancos is gradational and difficult to place. The Point Lookout Sandstone is a cliff-forming unit, which makes the resistant cap rock around the rim of the Mesa Verde. There are few identifiable fossils in this formation, but trace fossils are common and a large Baculites cf haresi, some broken inoceramids, and drift wood are present.

The sea drained off to the northeast, and the area became a lowland, coastal plain. Thick deposits of the Menefee Formation totaling up to 800 feet in places, were laid down in swamps, lagoons, and along broad meandering streams and include woody shales, coal, dark carbonaceous shales, and discontinuous irregular stream sands. No invertebrate or vertebrate fossils have been found, but a rich paleobotanical record is present, especially in the sandstones of the middle part of the formation. Although plant fossils are common in this unit, identification has been difficult because of problems in preservation. Paleobotanists who have been helpful in making identifications of specimens brought to them from MEVE include Jack Wolfe (USGS retired), Gary Upchurch (formerly USGS), Kirk Johnson (DMNH), Elizabeth Wheeler (NC State University), Una Smith (Yale Univ). Petrified wood is common in the sandstone units and has been identified as conifer. A few pieces of wood, along with bark and twigs, have been identified as Auricaria. Palms identified as Sabal and Sabalites are quite common and well preserved in the sandstones and make a thick hash of broken fronds in one layer of the Menefee. Other paleontological material includes: grass blades, a crushed stem of Calamites, a twig of a probable Sequoia, an unknown fern, a monocot, Brachyphyllum, and leaves from Sycamore, Theaceae, Laurel, Camelia,and Ficus trees. Kirk Johnson identified a well-preserved flower bud as probably Paleoaster iniqueriende, but is much smaller than any other known specimen. Una Smith (Yale University) indicated that the specimen resembles a paleoaster, but cannot refer it to a known species (Griffitts, personal communication, 2001).

The youngest Mesozoic sediments on the Mesa Verde are the marine sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Cliff House Formation deposited in a shallow transgressive sea. The formation consists of two massive sandstone beds separated by a shaly sandstone unit. The prehistoric Puebloan cliff dwellings were constructed in alcoves in the massive sandstones. Invertebrate, vertebrate, and trace fossils are found throughout the formation (Siemers and King, 1974). The ammonite Baculites maclearni Landes is common within the unit and more rare are fragments of a Placenticeras sp. Bivalves include Ethmocardium whitei, Cymbophora, Modiolus, Dosinopsis, and Inoceramus. Several echinoids have been found and an excellent sea star, probably representing a new species and possibly a genus, was also collected.

Fossil vertebrates from the Cliff House include jaw, fins and isolated teeth from the bony fish Enchodus, shark teeth, amphibians, and reptiles (mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles). Trace fossils including the Crustacean burrows Ophiomorpha are abundant throughout the sandstones. In 1934, during the construction of an addition to the Mesa Verde park museum, many excellent upper Cliff House fossils were collected.

Holocene insect fossils have been reported from a number of the Anasazi archeological sites within the park (Graham, 1965). Analysis of fossil insect assemblages indicated that the synanthropic insect population remained virtually unchanged from the Basketmaker culture through the Pueblo culture (Elias, 1997). Insect fossils were found associated with human remains, coprolites, and in food storage containers.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) was established as a national park on January 26, 1915. The park was designated a Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and given wilderness designation on December 22, 1980. Rocky Mountain National Park has the highest elevation of any of the NPS areas in Colorado and includes the highest peaks of the Front Range in the Rockies. This area is sometimes referred to as the "Roof of the Rockies" as the Continental Divide crosses through Rocky Mountain National Park. The park shows extensive evidence of several different glacial episodes. Glacial features including cirques, moraines, icefields, glacial lakes, striations, and glacial debris are evident within the park.

The oldest rocks in Rocky Mountain National Park consist of Precambrian gneisses and schists dated to approximately 1.8 billion years old (Fig. 13). These metamorphic rocks have been intruded by granite batholiths. During the Tertiary, the Laramide Orogeny caused regional uplift and increased volcanic activity. Glacial activity started during the Pleistocene Epoch around 1.5 million years ago, representing the Bull Lake glaciation and the Pinedale glaciation (Wisconsinan age). The last of the Pleistocene glaciers disappeared in the park region about 7500 years ago (Harris, 1977). There are still several small active glaciers within the park boundaries.

Paleontological resources known from Rocky Mountain National Park are limited to the Pleistocene and Holocene. Although the Mancos Formation is exposed in the park, there are no documented fossil specimens reported from this unit. There are a few enigmatic specimens in the museum collection at ROMO, including several pieces of petrified wood, Stylommatophora, several molluscan specimens as well as other marine fossils. Additional specimens in the park collection include teeth from Ursus americanus, Equidae sp. and Bovidae sp. and ten plant fossils from the Willow Creek Pass area just outside the park boundaries. There are 35 different Holocene insects identified from the Mount Ida Ridge Pond (Elias, 1985), with additional specimens from the Roaring River and La Poudre Pass sites that are listed in Appendix B (Elias, 1996a, 1996b). Pollen samples were also collected from these localities.

Figure 13. Stratigraphy of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Stratigraphy of Rocky Mountain National Park

YUCCA HOUSE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Yucca House National Monument (YUHO) was proclaimed a national monument on December 19, 1919 to preserve a complex of unexcavated prehistoric Native American pueblos. The site is administered through Mesa Verde National Park and is currently not open to the public. The monument located on the west side of the broad Montezuma Valley south of McElmo Creek consists of a group of unexcavated mounds outlining kivas and room blocks originally described and sketched by W.H. Holmes during his 1875-76 field excursions (1876).

The bedrock geology at Yucca House consists of the Upper Cretaceous Mancos Formation. The Mancos Formation has been divided into eight members at the type section at Mesa Verde National Park by R.M. Leckie (Leckie, et al., 1997). However, at Yucca House only the top four members are exposed within the monument boundaries. The lower four, the Graneros shale, the Bridge Creek (Greenhorn) Limestone, and the Fairport and Blue Hills Shales crop out to the west of the monument. The older Dakota Formation crops out about 2 ½ miles north and about 2 ½ miles west of the present boundaries of Yucca House.

The oldest sedimentary rock cropping out in the monument, the Juana Lopez Member of the Mancos, is most important to Yucca House both in paleontology and archeology. The low mesas just west of the monument boundary are capped by the rusty calcarenite of the Juana Lopez Member. The gullies between the small hills cut into this member. The Juana Lopez is a highly fossiliferous unit composed of dark soft calcareous shales and hard calcarenite layers. The calcarenite is a granular, solid rock that resembles a sandstone, but is almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. It is dark gray, almost black in fresh specimens, but weathers to a rusty brown. Solution of pieces of this calcarenite in hydrochloric acid leaves only a very small residue of fine silt and clay. The Juana Lopez represents a period of quiet deposition far from shore, with little clastic material being brought into the area. Although the calcarenite is largely composed of bioclastic debris such as broken shell material, some probably represents a chemical recrystallization of calcium carbonate derived from the molluscan shells.

Much of this part of the Montezuma Valley is underlain by the Juana Lopez Member. The dip is gentle, rarely more than 3 degrees, so that a relatively thin formation, less than 140 feet thick, crops out over a large geographic area. Most of the valley is covered with alluvium and terrace and landslide deposits, so bed rock outcrops are not common. The area has been cultivated for generations and soil covers much of the flat area. Bedrock crops out west of Yucca House Monument in the low foothills below the Ute Mountain laccoliths.

The Juana Lopez calcarenites bear a rich fauna of ammonites and bivalves. Prionocyclus wyomingensis Meek and P. novimexicanus (Marcou), Baculites undulatus d'Orbigny and B. yokoyami Tokunaga and Shimizu,. and Scaphites warreni Meek and Hayden and S. whitfieldi Cobban are common ammonites. Common bivalves include Nicaisolophalugubris (Conrad), Inoceramus dimidius White, I. perplexus Whitfield and various small oysters. This member is so highly fossiliferous that almost every block of calcarenite shows at least fragments of molluscs. A collection of fossils from the monument are catalogued and stored at the Mesa Verde Museum.

The paleontologic record is especially important to the archeologist because many of the building blocks visible in the rubble mounds have well-preserved fossils of the above species (Fig. 14). The closest outcrop of this fossiliferous zone is about ½ mile to the west. Where the Juana Lopez is cut by gullies, ready-made building blocks, shaped by 3-6 inch bedding planes plus vertical jointing, are found. The layer that caps the low hills is usually thinner bedded and would not make good building material. Some of the building blocks are boulders from the terrace gravels and landslide debris, but a large part is the highly fossiliferous Juana Lopez calcarenite.

Two small outcrops of the Smoky Hill Member of the Mancos are found several miles to the east of Yucca House with typical bivalves, Pseudoperna congesta (Conrad) encrusting Inoceramus (Volviceramus) grandis (Conrad), and Inoceramus (Platyceramus) platinus Logan.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
fossil bivalves in the building stones at an archeological site in Yucca House National Monument
Figure 14. Fossil bivalves in the building stones at an archeological site in Yucca House National Monument.

We thank the many National Park Service employees who provided their time and expertise during the inventory of paleontological resources in the various NPS units of Colorado including: Nancy Russell and Jackson Moore (retired) from Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site; Ken Stahlnecker, Joanie Budzileni, Kelli Trujillo, and Mitzi Frank from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area; J. Lofland, Pat Perrotti, William Hood, and Dave Price from Colorado National Monument; Ann El er and Scott Madsen from Dinosaur National Monument; Herb Meyer, A. Cook, and A. Kinchloe from Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument; Andrew Valdez and Sue Judis from Great Sand Dunes National Park; George San Miguel, Jack Muller, and M. Colyer (photographer) from Mesa Verde National Park; and Bill Butler from Rocky Mountain National Park.

We extend an additional thanks to William Cobban (USGS), Wally Hansen (USGS), Jim Kirkland (Utah State Paleontologist), George Engelmann (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Mary Griffitts (retired geologist), Tony Fiorillo (Dallas Museum of Natural History), Scott Elias (University of Colorado), Jason Kenworthy (Fossil Butte National Monument), Steve Hasiotis (University of Indiana), and George Jefferson (Anza-Borrego Desert State Park) for technical information and review of this document.

Finally we would like to acknowledge our appreciation of J. Gregson, B. Heise, B. Higgins and D. McGinnis of the National Park Service, for providing the opportunity to include paleontology as part of the Geologic Assessment of the Colorado National Parks and Monuments.

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Herr, R.G., 1979. Sedimentary petrology and stratigraphy of the Lodore Formation (Upper Cambrian), northeast Utah and Northwest Colorado: Salt Lake City, University of Utah, M.S. Thesis, 129 p.

______, M.D. Picard, and S.H. Evans, 1982. Age and depth of burial, Cambrian Lodore Formation, northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado: Contributions to Geology, University of Wyoming, v. 21, no. 2, p. 115-121.

Holland, J.W., 1912. Note on the discovery of two nearly complete sauropod skeletons in Utah: Annals of the Carnegie Museum, v. 8, p. 2-3.

______, 1915. A new species of Apatosaurus: Annals of the Carnegie Museum. v. 10, p. 143-145.

______, 1916. Skeletons of Diplodocus and Apatosaurus in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 38, p. 153.

______, 1924. The skull of Diplodocus: Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, v. 9, p. 379-403.

Holmes, W.H., 1878. Report on the Ancient Ruins of Southwestern Colorado, examined during the summers of 1875 and 1876, in F.V. Hayden, 1878, Tenth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, p. 399-400, Plate XL.

Hook, S.C. and W.A. Cobban, 1977. Pycnodonte newberryi (Stanton) _ common guide fossil in Upper Cretaceous of New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Annual Report 1976-1977, p. 48-54.

Hunt, A.P., M.G. Lockley, K.L. Conrad, M. Paquette and D.J. Chure, 1993. Late Triassic vertebrates from the Dinosaur National Monument area (Utah, USA) with an example of the utility of coprolites for correlation. New Mexico Museum Natural History Science Bulletin 3:197-198.

Johnson, R.B., 1967. The Great Sand Dunes of Southern Colorado. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 575-C, p. 177-183.

Kennedy, W.J., and W.A. Cobban, 1991. Coniacian ammonite faunas from the United States western interior: The Paleontological Association of London, Special Papers in Paleontology, No. 45, 96 p.

Kirkland, J.I., R.M. Leckie, and W.P. Elder, 1995. A new principal reference section for the Mancos Shale (Late Cretaceous) at Mesa Verde National Park. in Santucci, V.L. and McClelland, L., (editors), NPS Paleontological Research Volume 2: NPS Technical Report, NPS/NRPO/NRTR-95/16, p. 77-81.

Leckie, R.M., J.I. Kirkland, and W.P. Elder, 1997. Stratigraphic framework and correlation of a principal reference section of the Mancos Shale (Upper Cretaceous), Mesa Verde, Colorado: in Mesozoic geology and paleontology of the Four Corners Region, New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 48th Field Conference, p. 163-216.

Litwin, R., C.E. Turner, and F.E. Peterson, 1998. Palynological assessment of the Morrison Formation: Dinosaur National Monument (Utah and Colorado) and the Western Interior, in Carpenter, K.E., D.J. Chure and J.I. Kirkland, (editors), The Morrison Symposium: An Interdisciplinary Approach: Modern Geology, v. 22, nos. 1-4, p. 297-320.

Lockley, M.G., R.F. Flemming, and K. Conrad, 1990. First Semiannual Report: Distribution and significance of Mesozoic vertebrate trace fossils in Dinosaur National Monument. Report to the NPS, Contract Number: PX1200-0-C809: 15 pp.

______, K. Conrad, and M. Paquette, 1992a. New vertebrate track assemblages from the Late Triassic of the Dinosaur National Monument area, eastern Utah and western Colorado. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs 24 (6): 24 (abstract).

______, ______, and ______, 1992b. New discoveries of fossil footprints at Dinosaur National Monument. Park Science 12(3): 4-5

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Appendix A: List of fossils from Haystack Cave Gunnison County, Colorado. Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service Radiometric dates 14,935± 610, 12,154± 1,700 yr BP C14
Taxa: Bufo sp B. boreras or B. woodhousei Mustela frenata
Sceloporus undulatus Taxidea taxus
Buteo sp. Spilogale putorius
Lagopus sp. Canis latrans
Sialia sp. Vulpes vulpes
Ochotona princeps Vulpes sp. or Urocyon sp.
Lepus sp. Ursus americanus
Sylvilagus sp. Acinonyx trumani
Marmota flaviventris Felis colcolor
Spermophilus richardsoni Equus sp.
Thomomys talpoides Odocoileus hemionus
Thomomys sp. Antilocarpa americana
Peromyscus maniculatus Ovis canadensis
Microtus longicaudus Bootherium sp.
Microtus sp. Euceratherium sp.
Lagurus curtatus  

 

Appendix B: Taxonomic list of fossil insects found in Rocky Mountain National Park
Class Order Family Genus and Species Mount Ida Bog Roaring River LaPoudre Pass
Insecta            
  COLEOPTERA          
    Carabidae        
      Agonum bembidioides  
X
 
      Agonum sp.  
X
X
      Amara cf. apricaria
X
   
      Bembidion cf. trasversale  
X
 
      Bembidion incertum  
X
X
      Bembidion striola
X
   
      Bembidion spp.  
X
X
      Calathus advena  
X
 
      Carabus taedatus agassii  
X
 
      Discorderus sp.  
X
 
      Elaphrus cf. Clairvillei    
X
      Metabletus americanus  
X
 
      Notiophilus directus  
X
X
      Patrobus septentrionis
X
 
X
      Pterostichus sp.  
X
 
      Stenelophus conjunctus  
X
 
      Selenophorus gagatinus  
X
 
      Selenophorus planipennis
X
   
      Trechus sp.  
X
X
      Trichocellus mannerheimi  
X
 
    Dytiscidae        
      Agabus inscriptus    
X
      Agabus sp.
X
 
X
      Enochrus sp.    
X
      Hydrospous occidentalis    
X
      Hydrospous sp.
X
   
      Hydrospous spp.    
X
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Hydrophilidae        
      Cercyon sp.    
X
      Helophorus linearoides    
X
      Helophorus sempervarisns    
X
      Helephorus sp.    
X
      Hydrobius sp.    
X
    Staphylinidae        
      Acidota quadrata
X
X
X
      Deinopsis sp.  
X
 
      Eucnecosum brunnescens
X
X
 
      Eucnecosum tenue
X
X
X
      Eucnecosum spp.
X
X
X
      Geodromicus sp.
X
X
X
      Gymnusa atra    
X
      Hapalarea sp.
X
   
      Lathrobium spp.    
X
      Lordithon sp.  
X
 
      Microedus sp.  
X
 
      Micropeplus laticollis  
X
 
      Mycetoporus sp.  
X
 
      Olophrum consimile
X
X
 
      Olophrum rotundicolle
X
X
X
      Olophrum spp.
X
X
X
      Orobanus sp.  
X
 
      Oxytelus sp.  
X
 
      Quedius sp.
X
X
 
      Philonthus spp.  
X
X
      Phlaeopterus sp.  
X
 
      Stenus (Colonus) sp.
X
 
X
      Stenus dissentiens
X
 
X
      Stenus immarginatus or formicertorum  
X
 
      Stenus leviceps  
X
 
      Stenus spp.    
X
      Tachinus elongatus
X
   
      Tachinus frigidus  
X
 
      Tachinus sp.  
X
 
      Tachyporus sp.
X
   
      Unamis sp.  
X
 
      Xantholinus sp.  
X
 
      Genus indet.
X
   
    Histeridae        
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Byrrhidae        
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Elmidae        
      Genus indet.  
X
X
    Elateridae        
      Genus indet.  
X
X
    Cantharidae        
      Podabrus sp.  
X
 
    Anobiidae        
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Bostrichidae        
      Stephanopachys sobrinus  
X
 
    Scarabaedidae        
      Aegialia lacustris  
X
X
      Aphodius sp.
X
X
X
    Lathridiidae        
      Genus indet.
X
   
    Nitidulidae        
      cf. Epurea sp.  
X
 
      Genus indet.      
    Cucujidae        
      Laemophloeus sp.
X
   
    Mycetophagidae        
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Cerambycidae        
      Genus indet.  
X
 
    Chrysomelidae        
      Altica sp.
X
X
X
      Oedionbchis sp.  
X
 
      Plateumaris flavipes
X
   
      Genus indet.
X
 
X
    Curculionidae        
      Apion sp.  
X
X
      Magdalis hispoides
X
   
      Rhynocolus marcops  
X
 
      Genus indet.    
X
    Scolytidae        
      Dendroctonus cf. brevicomis
X
   
      Dendroctonus rufipennis  
X
X
      Dendroctonus sp.
X
   
      Dryocoetes affaber
X
X
 
      Dryocoetes autographus  
X
 
      Dryocoetes sp.  
X
 
      Polygraphus rufipennis
X
X
X
      Phloeotribus lecontei  
X
X
      Pityokteines minutus
X
   
      Pityophthorus spp.  
X
X
      Scolytus piceae  
X
 
      Genus indet.
X
 
X
  HETEROPTERA          
    Lygaeidae        
      Genus indet.
X
 
X
  TRICHOPTEREA          
    Hydropsychidae        
      Arctopysche sp.  
X
 
    Limnephilidae        
      cf. Asynarchus sp.
X
   
      cf. Clistoronia sp.  
X
 
      Dicosmoecuss  
X
 
      cf. Limnephilus sp.
X
   
      Genus indet
X
X
X
    Rhyacophilidae        
      Himalopsyche sp.  
X
 
      Rhyacophila sp.  
X
 
  HYMENOPTERA          
    Formicidae        
      Camponotus herculeanus  
X
 
      Formica rufa cf. marcida  
X
X
      Leptothorax sp.
X
X
 
      Myrmica incompleta    
X
      Myrmica (incompleta) sp.  
X
 
    Hymenoptera parasitica        
      Genus indet.
X
   
  ARACHNIDA          
    Aranaeae        
      Genus indet.
X
   
  ARANEIDA          
      Genus indet.  
X
X
  ACARI          
    Orbatidae        
      Genus indet.
X
X
X
  CLADOCERA          
    Daphniidae        
      Daphnia spp.
X