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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
Online ISSN: 2274-0333
Frequency: biannual

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New late Paleocene rodents (Mammalia) from Big Multi Quarry, Washakie Basin,Wyoming.
Mary R. Dawson and Christopher K. Beard
Keywords: Clarkforkian; North America; Paleocene; Rodentia

    The earliest North American rodents occur in basal Clarkforkian beds of the Fort Union Formation at Big Multi Quarry near Bitter Creek, northern Washakie Basin, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, and in closely correlative Fort Union beds formerly accessible in the Eagle Coal Mine near Bear Creek, northern Clark's Fork Basin, Carbon County, Montana. Two new species of early Clarkforkian rodents, Paramys adamus and Alagomys russelli, are described from Big Multi Quarry. Paramys adamus is represented by virtually complete upper and lower dentitions, which demonstrate that this species is one of the most primitive North American paramyids yet discovered. These specimens form the basis for a reevaluation of the content and stratigraphic range of P. atavus, which is known with certainty only from Bear Creek. Alagomys russelli is the first North American record for the enigmatic rodent family Alagomyidae, otherwise known from ?late Paleocene-early Eocene localities in Mongolia and China. Phylogenetic analysis of dental and gnathic traits suggests that Alagomyidae form the sister group of all other undoubted rodents. At least two rodent clades, alagomyids and basal paramyids, seem to have invaded North America from Asia at the beginning of Clarkforkian time, but only the paramyids persisted to undergo a significant evolutionary radiation in North America. 

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Published in Vol. 25, Fasc. 2-4 (1996)