Paper No. 52-16
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
LATE CRETACEOUS ORNITHOPOD DINOSAUR FOSSIL ASSMBLEGE FROM THE WILLOW TANK FORMATION OF SOUTHEASTERN NEVADA
A Late Cretaceous unidentified ornithopod was collected from the Valley of Fire State Park in 2008 from the Willow Tank Formation. Ornithopods were bipedal herbivores that were abundant during the Cretaceous and extensive assemblages have been found in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. However, the dinosaur fossil record in Nevada is limited. This ornithopod may be the most complete dinosaur fossil assemblage to be found in Nevada. The fossilized bones were collected in boulder size sandstone float. Fossil preparation has been underway to try and identify the bones along with the specie. Further investigation of the paleoenvironment through plant fossils preserved within the Willow Tank Formation can give insight to what type of fauna would have been supported during this time. Volcanoclastic sedimentation within the formation has allowed for preservation of plant fossils making it possible to recreate the paleoenvironment which supported the dinosaur. My objective is to identify the ornithopod dinosaur and to reconstruct prehistoric communities of the Late Cretaceous in Southeastern Nevada.