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The fauna and chronostratigraphy of the middle Miocene Mascall type area, John Day Basin, Oregon, USA


The Mascall fauna is a well-known middle Miocene (Barstovian) mammalian assemblage in the Pacific Northwest. It has been collected for over 100 years and collecting intensity has increased since the establishment in 1975 of a national monument enclosing the type area of the formation. Despite its importance to biostratigraphy, biogeography of Barstovian taxa, and paleoecological studies, the fauna at the type locality has not been taxonomically examined in more than 50 years. Evaluation and classification of the stratigraphy of the Mascall Formation (Bestland et al. 2008) has prompted a faunal revision in order to place taxa within the new stratigraphic framework. Here we report on the fauna from the type area of the Mascall Formation in central Oregon, and conclude that 20 taxa are new to the fauna, and several taxa previously assigned to distinct species are synonymized. We also place specimens and taxa within a robust stratigraphic framework, calibrated with new U-Pb radioisotopic ages for the Mascall Tuff (15.122±0.017 Ma), the most fossiliferous layer in the formation, and the Kangaroo Tuff (13.564±0.018 Ma), the upper most tuff in the formation.

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