The Jurassic Mile: a New Morrison Formation Assemblage
The Big Horn Basin (Wyoming, USA) has yielded a unique dinosaur fauna when compared to the southern Morrison Formation but the relationship between the two is unclear. The Jurassic Mile in the Northern Big Horn Basin is a new field site that consists of a diverse assemblage of animals and plants from Morrison Formation. A multidisciplinary team from The University of Manchester (UK), Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Netherlands) and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (USA), have discovered and excavated multiple dinosaur bonebeds in addition to tracks and trackways that have been assigned to sauropod and ornithopod/theropod morphospecies. Furthermore, plant macrofossils (e.g., leaves, stems and silicified wood) and microfossils (e.g., spores and pollen) are preserved in multiple horizons and sedimentary facies. The latest technology has been employed (e.g., LiDAR, Drone 3D photogrammetry and hand laser-scanning) to further record, log and map the relationships that this site may have with other Morrison Formation localities. For that reason, the identification of the flora and fauna from the Jurassic Mile could yield new information on the diversity, evolution and palaeobiogeography of organisms from the Big Horn Basin and their overall importance to the Morrison Formation biota.