Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 3:45 PM
A PALEOECOLOGY COMPARISON STUDY OF ANURANS FROM THE GRAY FOSSIL SITE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN, AND THE PIPE CREEK SINKHOLE, GRANT COUNTY, IN
The Gray Fossil Site is postulated to be a late Miocene or early Pliocene (c. 4.5 7 million years BP) sinkhole deposit. As expected in such an assemblage, aquatic taxa, such as anurans are represented. Recent wet-sieving efforts are producing microfaunal remains but surprisingly, frogs appear to be underrepresented. In contrast, the Pipe Creek Sinkhole estimated to be early Pliocene (c. 5 million years BP) age, and often considered to be the sister site to Gray, has produced a multitude of anuran remains. Specific taxonomic differences noted thus far are that the anuran fauna from Pipe Creek is dominated by smaller aquatic species, identified as being in the Rana pipiens complex; whereas the fauna from Gray is primarily larger aquatic anurans similar in size and morphology to Rana catesbeiana. The Gray Fossil Site is in the early stages of excavation, and only time will tell whether or not these patterns represent true paleoecological differences.