Rocky Mountain (56th Annual) and Cordilleran (100th Annual) Joint Meeting (May 3–5, 2004)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:20 AM


MORGAN, Vincent L., Rindge, NH 03461 and LUCAS, Spencer G., Paleontology, New Mexico Museum of Nat History & Sci, 1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104-1375, SLucas@nmmnh.state.nm

Walter Granger (1872-1941), a vertebrate paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, was among the early fossil collectors to work in New Mexico. He followed in the footsteps of David Baldwin (1835-?) and Edward D. Cope (1840-1897), who collected vertebrate fossils in northern NM during the 1870s and 1880s, and overlapped with Jacob L. Wortman (1856-1926), with whom he first entered New Mexico in 1896. In that year, Granger, Wortman and a small party reworked two Paleocene-Eocene sites, the Almagre Arroyo area and Torreon Wash, that Wortman had first visited in 1892. They also met with archaeologist Richard Wetherill and others at Chaco Canyon, where the American Museum had just sent a representative to advise on the archaeological work that Wetherill was commencing there. Shortly thereafter, Wortman left the American Museum, and Granger eventually continued Wortman’s work, together with that of Baldwin and Cope, with subsequent visits to the Paleocene-Eocene strata of the San Juan Basin in 1912, 1913 and 1916. During these visits, Granger led small parties that made significant advances in the collection and study of fossil mammals, as well as in the stratigraphic analysis of the areas from which the collections were made. Particularly significant was Granger’s collaboration with William J. Sinclair (1877-1935), who provided an accurate stratigraphic framework within which to place Granger’s fossil discoveries. Granger, thereby, was instrumental in laying the groundwork, both paleontologic and stratigraphic, upon which the Puercan and Torrejonian land-mammal "ages" were based, and which also became the basis for recognition of the Paleocene Epoch.