Aplodontid, sciurid, castorid, zapodid and geomyoid rodents of the Rodent Hill locality, Cypress Hills formation, southwest Saskatchewan

Author: Bell, Sean Daniel


Educational level: Master of Science

Discipline: Geological Sciences

University: University of Saskatchewan

Abstract: The Rodent Hill Locality is a fossil-bearing site that is part of the Cypress Hills Formation, and is located roughly 15 km northwest of the town of Eastend, Saskatchewan. A number of fossil mammal and other vertebrate taxa are present at Rodent Hill; the primary objective of this project was to identify the fossil rodents of the families Sciuridae, Aplodontidae, Castoridae, Heliscomyidae, Heteromyidae, Florentiamyidae and Zapodidae. These taxa were correlated with rodents from other North American faunas to establish the age of the Rodent Hill Locality. The species Haplomys cf. H. liolophus, Dakotallomys cf. D. pelycomyoides, Kirkomys milleri, Proheteromys nebraskensis, Agnotocastor cf. A. praetereadens, and possibly Cedromus cf. C. wilsoni support the Whitneyan age designation of the Rodent Hill Locality. Taxa that are described from Rodent Hill that are better known from earlier-age sites include Heliscomys vetus and H. hatcheri, Ecclesimus sp. and Oligotheriomys sp. Taxa that are younger than Whitneyan but have been recovered at Rodent Hill include Parallomys sp., Plesiosminthus sp., Protospermophilus sp., and Nototamias sp. Two new species in the genus Sciurion, and one new species in the genus Pseudallomys are described, and a new species of Heliscomys is identified but not formally named. The rodents from the Rodent Hill Locality support the Whitneyan age assignment of the site. This is based on the presence of Whitneyan taxa, and the in situ co-occurrence of older and younger taxa within the site.

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Keywords: Dakotallomys, Pseudallomys, Agnotocastor, Oligotheriomys, Palaeocastorinae, Geomyoidea, Heliscomyidae, Heliscomys, Heliscomys vetus, Heliscomys hatcheri, Syphyriomys, Florentiamyidae, Kirkomys, Kirkomys milleri, Ecclesimus, Heteromyidae, Proheteromys, Proheteromys nebraskensis, Sciuridae, Parallomys, Sciurion, Castoridae, Nototamias, Protospermophilus, Haplomys, Campestrallomys, Prosciurus, Aplodontidae, Cedromus, Plesiosminthus, Zapodidae, North America, Oligocene, Whitneyan


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