PALEONTOLOGICAL AND PALEOENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS OF THE MUDDY CREEK FORMATION NEAR LAKE MEAD, SOUTHERN NEVADA
The site is located on the western side of Lake Mead on Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) managed lands, and work was conducted under permit from the BOR. The MCF at this site is toward the top of the section corresponding with the latest Miocene to earliest Pliocene (~6-4.8 Ma). Previous researchers have proposed that the MCF may be representative of a savannah-like environment, where climates were slightly moderated and there were periods of higher levels of rainfall in comparison to today. The amount of channel incision at this locality supports increased water volume to this area compared to today. Fossil ichnotaxa and sediments suggest that this site was marginal to the fluctuating shoreline of the paleolake through the late Miocene, where these megafauna were likely moving through the area for hydration. Although, the lack of any plant fossils or impressions does not allow corroboration of a savannah-type environment directly at this site, that setting may have existed even more marginal within the basin than the floodplain/mudflat settings adjacent to the paleolake.