A new early occurrence of Cervidae in North America from the Miocene-Pliocene Ellensburg Formation in Washington, USA
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A new fossil cervid from the Craig’s Hill locality of the Miocene-Pliocene Ellensburg Formation in the State of Washington, USA, may be one of the oldest fossil deer yet found in North America, underlying a date of 4.9 Ma ± 0.1 Ma. This mandible fragment with m2, m3, and associated p2 has a size that does not distinguish it from Bretzia pseudalces, Odocoileus hemionus, or Capreolus constantini, and distinguishes it from Eocoileus gentryorum and Odocoileus lucasi only in having a thinner p2. A strong paraconid on the p2, and ectostylids and cingulids on the m2 and m3 link it most strongly with Bretzia pseudalces, but these are also intermittently present in Odocoileus hemionus. Because of the close geographic and temporal proximity of Bretzia pseudalces in the Ringold Formation, and its shared morphology with Bretzia, we are tentatively assigning this specimen to cf. Bretzia.
Emery-Wetherell, Meaghan M. and Schilter, Joseph F. 2020. A new early occurrence of Cervidae in North America from the Miocene-Pliocene Ellensburg Formation in Washington, USA. Palaeontologia Electronica, 23(1):a08. https://doi.org/10.26879/946 palaeo-electronica.org/content/2020/2939-new-old-deer-from-washington
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Copyright: March 2020 Paleontological Society.
This article was originally published Open Access in Palaeontologia Electronica. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.