Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Richard Zawerksi

Abstract

In 1956, G. F. Sternberg and M. C. Bonner excavated a partial skeleton of an adult marine turtle, Toxochelys latiremes (FHSM VP-700), from the Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Formation (Late Santonian to Early Campanian) on the Wood Ranch south side of Twin Butte Creek, west of Elkader, in Logan County, Kansas. A detailed examination of the skeleton revealed 37 punctures, of which 22 are concentrated on both hyo- and hypoplastron. Comparison of the punctures to known diagenetic features and bite marks on other specimens suggests that the shark, Squalicorax, and possibly the teleost, Xiphactinus, were the most likely candidates to have made the punctures. A survey of the specimens from the Smoky Hill member of the Niobrara Formation in Kansas indicates that mosasaurs exhibit the most evidence for predation or scavenging, especially on the ribs, pectoral girdle and tail. / Toxochelys latiremis is found throughout the Niobrara and Pierre Formation, whereas Ctenochelys stenopora and Protostega gigas are restricted to the Smoky Hill. The former extends from Hattin’s (1982) Marker Unit 10 to 17 and the later from Marker Unit 17 to 23.

Rights

Copyright 2008 Reira Konuki

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

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