Taphonomic Processes Associated with the Merrell Local Fauna (Pleistocene, Rancholabrean) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Centennial Valley, Southwestern Montana

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The Merrell Local Fauna (MLF), recovered from sedimentary deposits near the Red Rock River within Centennial Valley in southwestern Montana, comprises four classes of taxa: Osteichthyes (bony fish), Aves (waterfowl), Amphibia (amphibians), and Mammalia (Dundes eta l. 1996; Hill and Davis 2005; Hill 2006). The locality demonstrates the diversity of the Rancholabrean fauna within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystems. Finite radiocarbon ages obtained from 13 direct radiocarbon measurements made on bone range from 49, 350 ± 1500 RCYBP (Beta-116519) to 19,130 ± 90 RCYBP (Beta-77826). Several measurements indicate some remains are >52,800 (see below). The faunal assemblages that form the MLF have been affected by a variety of taphonomic processes resulting from pre-burial deposition, burial, and post-burial events.

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