Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Late Cenozoic Structure and Evolution of the Great Basin-Sierra Nevada Transition, edited by John S. Oldow & Patricia Hughes Cashman. Geological Society of America Special Papers 447. Copyright 2009, Geological Society of America. Used by permission.


The Hunter Creek Sandstone of the Verdi Basin, Nevada, yielded a succession of superposed continental faunal assemblages ranging in age from the late Clarendonian (late Miocene) through the late Blancan (late Pliocene) in the North American land mammal age framework, or ca. 10.5-2.5 Ma. We describe two new local faunas from the Hunter Creek Sandstone: the East Verdi local fauna, of late-medial to late Clarendonian age, which includes Dinohippus cf. D. leardi, Camelidae, ?Antilocapridae, and Mammutidae or Gomphotheriidae; and the Mogul local fauna, of Hemphillian age, which includes Dinohippus sp., Rhinocerotidae, Camelidae (at least two species), Mammut sp., and possibly Gomphotheriidae. A third unnamed assemblage, of latest Hemphillian or earliest Blancan age, is represented by a small sample of fossils from W.M. Keck Museum locality P-105. The only taxa recovered from this locality are cf. Megatylopus and Gomphotheriidae or Mammutidae. A single late Blancan locality, the Byland locality, yielded Equus idahoensis. The recognition of this faunal succession provides a biostratigraphic framework for the Hunter Creek Sandstone that corroborates and is consistent with the previous chronostratigraphy based on radioisotopic and tephrochronologic dating methods.