Mission: Clarendonian, South Dakota

List of taxa
Where & when
Taphonomy & methods
Metadata & references
Taxonomic list
Salientia - Pelobatidae
Scaphiopus sp. Holbrook 1836
Holman 1973
Salientia - Ranidae
Rana sp. Linnaeus 1758
Holman 1973
Salientia - Bufonidae
Bufo sp. Laurenti 1768
Holman 1973
Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson 1968
Holman 1973
Reptilia - Squamata - Anguidae
Anguidae indet. Gray 1825
Holman 1973
Reptilia - Squamata - Colubridae
Lampropeltis similis Holman 1964
Holman 1973
Reptilia - Squamata - Scincidae
Eumeces sp. Wiegmann 1834
Holman 1973
Mammalia - Rodentia - Cricetidae
Cricetidae indet. Fischer von Waldheim 1817
Mammalia - Rodentia - Sciuridae
Citellus sp. Oken 1816
1 specimen
SDSM 62247
    = Spermophilus sp. Cuvier 1825
Alroy 2002
comparisons are to S. gidleyi
Protospermophilus sp. Gazin 1930
1 specimen
SDSM 6865
Mammalia - Rodentia - Heteromyidae
Cupidinimus sp. Wood 1935
10 specimens
SDSM 6225-58, 62266-67, 62275
Perognathus cf. coquorum Wood 1935
2 specimens
SDSM 62263-64
Mammalia - Rodentia - Castoridae
Eucastor sp. Allen 1877
1 specimen
SDSM 6864
Mammalia - Rodentia - Mylagaulidae
Mylagaulus sp. Cope 1878
2 specimens
    = Mylagaulidae indet. Cope 1881
Alroy 2002
Mammalia - Rodentia - Zapodidae
Plesiosminthus sp. Viret 1926
3 specimens
SDSM 6862, 62269, 62276
    = Schaubeumys sp. Wood 1935
Alroy 2002
"P. sp. B" of Green 1977c; Korth 1980 suggests S. grangeri
Mammalia - Lagomorpha - Leporidae
? Hypolagus sp. Dice 1917
1 specimen
SDSM 6863
    = Archaeolaginae indet.
Alroy 2002
Mammalia - Perissodactyla - Rhinocerotidae
Teleoceras cf. fossiger (Cope 1878)
    = Teleoceras major Hatcher 1894
Voorhies 1985
okay with Prothero 1989 pers. comm.; NISP about 36, including "miscellaneous foot elements" (3?)
Aphelops megalodus (Cope 1873)
Prothero 2005
Mammalia - Perissodactyla - Tapiridae
Tapirus sp. Brisson 1762
1 specimen
Mammalia - Perissodactyla - Equidae
Hippotherium sp. Kaup 1832
279 specimens
"Neohipparion cf. occidentale or whitneyi": JA pers. obs. 13.7.96: data of Macdonald 1960 are ambiguous; dental measurements overlap completely with N. affine and "C. occidentale," and metapodial measurements overlap with those of Webb 1969 (Burge "Neohipparion," Minnechaduza "N. occidentale," type of "N. whitneyi"), Bernor et al. 1990 (Xmas-Kat "C. occidentale"), etc.; however, I believe that Hippotherium is present based on 1) low frequency of pli caballinids (should be common in true Neohipparion), and 2) suggestion that some or many pli caballins are multiple (should always be single in true Neohipparion); including metapodials
Pseudhipparion cf. gratum (Leidy 1869)
380 specimens
including 12 metapodials that could be Calippus
Pliohippus sp. Marsh 1874
151 specimens
    = Protohippus sp. Leidy 1858
Alroy 2002
reassigned as Merychippus (Protohippus)
may also include Pliohippus, but mention of "several complicated folds" in some fossettes indicates that at least some specimens are Protohippus: JA pers. obs. 13.7.96
Calippus placidus (Leidy 1869)
Hulbert 1989 1 specimen
pers. commun.: "A. cf. martini"; i.d. confirmed by JA 3.8.93
Hypohippus sp. (Leidy 1858)
3 specimens
original and current combination Anchitherium (Hypohippus)
Mammalia - Soricidae
Soricidae indet. Fischer 1814
1 specimen
SDSM 62270
Mammalia - Carnivora - Amphicyonidae
Ischyrocyon gidleyi (Matthew 1902)
13 specimens
Mammalia - Carnivora - Canidae
Leptocyon matthewi Tedford et al. 2009
Tedford et al. 2009
Aelurodon taxoides Hatcher 1894
8 specimens
see also Wang et al. 1999
Aelurodon saevus (Leidy 1858)
1 specimen
SDSM 6853
    = Carpocyon robustus Green 1948
Wang et al. 1999
(plus new F:AM specimen)
Tomarctus euthos (McGrew 1935)
1 specimen
recombined as Paratomarctus euthos
Mammalia - Proboscidea - Gomphotheriidae
Gomphotherium sp. Burmeister 1837
8 specimens
Mammalia - Ungulata - Merycoidodontidae
Ustatochoerus cf. skinneri Schultz and Falkenbach 1941
6 specimens
    = Merychyus cf. novomexicanus Frick 1929
Voorhies 1985
original and current combination Merychyus medius novomexicanus
"U. medius"; discussed by Skinner and Johnson 1984 and Schultz and Falkenbach 1941
Mammalia - Ungulata - Tayassuidae
Prosthennops sp. Matthew and Gidley 1904
7 specimens
    = Prosthennops cf. niobrarensis Colbert 1935
Wright 1983
Mammalia - Ungulata - Camelidae
Protolabis heterodontus (Cope 1874)
2 specimens
including type of "Procamelus foxi" of Macdonald 1960
Procamelus grandis Gregory 1939
10 specimens
Aepycamelus sp. Macdonald 1956
Harrison 1985 2 specimens
"Paracamelus or Aepycamelus"
Pliauchenia magnifontis Gregory 1939
2 specimens
Mammalia - Ungulata - Antilocapridae
Merycodus sp. Leidy 1854
19 specimens
    = Cosoryx sp. Leidy 1869
Alroy 2002
originally identified as Cosoryx by Macdonald 1960 based on opinion of Taylor, who was following Frick's taxonomy; also said to be the same as the Big Spring merycodont, which is Cosoryx cf. furcatus, and extreme length of shaft indicated by measurements matches Cosoryx
see common names

Country:United States State/province:South Dakota County:Mellette
Coordinates: 43.4° North, 100.6° West (view map)
Paleocoordinates:43.9° North, 98.0° West
Basis of coordinate:stated in text
Geographic resolution:outcrop
Period:Neogene Epoch:Miocene
Key time interval:Clarendonian
Age range of interval:13.60000 - 10.30000 m.y. ago
* legacy (obsolete) database fields
Formation:Thin Elk
Stratigraphic resolution:member
Lithology and environment
Primary lithology: unlithified sandstone
Secondary lithology: "carbonate"
Includes fossils?Y
Includes fossils?Y
Lithology description: "microfauna... from two different sedimentary latyers. One sample was derived from about one-half ton of unconsolidated sand near the base of the channel deposit. The second sample came from approximately one-half ton of sediment taken from a calcareous ledge-forming lens near the top of the deposit."
Modes of preservation:body
Size of fossils:macrofossils,mesofossils
Collection methods and comments
Collection methods:bulk,salvage,selective quarrying,chemical,sieve,field collection
Collection size:947 specimens
Rock censused:909 kg
Reason for describing collection:general faunal/floral analysis
Museum repositories:SDSM
Collection method comments: large vertebrates collected from "residue" of sand and gravel screened during a quarrying operation (Macdonald 1960); small vertebrates collected by "washing and screening techniques [sand layer] or by treatment of fossil-bearing rocks with chemicals [calcareous lens]" (Holman 1973)
Taxonomic list comments:Green's list replaces that of Macdonald 1960; NISP values are based on latter, and exclude non-mammalian taxa; total is 947
"Aelurodon cf. inflatus" NISP 1: specimen not mentioned at all by Wang et al. 1999
Also known as:SDSM V-5314; Thomas Fox Ranch; Joe Thin Elk Gravel Pits
Database number:18268
Authorizer:J. Alroy, J. Marcot Enterer:J. Alroy, J. Marcot
Modifier:J. Alroy Research group:vertebrate
Created:1992-08-05 00:00:00 Last modified:2007-09-08 15:10:56
Access level:the public Released:1992-08-05 00:00:00
Creative Commons license:CC BY
Reference information

Primary reference:

1710. M. Green. 1971.  Additions to the Mission vertebrate fauna, Lower Pliocene of South Dakota. Journal of Paleontology 45(3):486-490 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/M. Carrano]

Secondary references:

6294 J. Alroy. 2002. Synonymies and reidentifications of North American fossil mammals. [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/M. Uhen]
1801 J. A. Harrison. 1985. Giant Camels from the Cenozoic of North America . Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 57:1-29 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/J. Ju]
19395 J. A. Holman. 1973. Herpetofauna of the Mission local fauna (Lower Pliocene) of South Dakota. Journal of Paleontology 47(3):462-464 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy]
1952 R. C. Hulbert, Jr. 1989. Phylogenetic Interrelationships and Evolution of North American Late Equidae. In D. R. Prothero and R. M. Schoch (eds.), The Evolution of Perissodactyls [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/M. Uhen]
51726 D. R. Prothero. 2005. The Evolution of North American Rhinoceroses. 1-218 [J. Marcot/J. Marcot]
52058 R. H. Tedford, X. Wang, and B. E. Taylor. 2009. Phylogenetic Systematics of the North American Fossil Caninae (Carnivora: Canidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 325:1-218 [J. Marcot/J. Marcot]
3505 M. R. Voorhies. 1985. National Geographic Society Research Reports [J. Alroy/J. Alroy]
3558 X. Wang, R. H. Tedford, and B. E. Taylor. 1999. Phylogenetic systematics of the Borophaginae (Carnivora: Canidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 243:1-392 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/J. Alroy]
3773 D. B. Wright. 1983. Later Miocene Tayassuidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) of North America. University of Nebraska, M. S. thesis 1-350 [J. Alroy/J. Alroy/J. Sepkoski]