Title page for ETD etd-11132009-034120

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Williams, Michael John
Author's Email Address mwill24@tigers.lsu.edu
URN etd-11132009-034120
Title Miocene Herpetofaunas from the Central Gulf Coast, USA: Their Paleoecology, Biogeography, and Biostratigraphy
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Geology & Geophysics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Schiebout, Judith A. Committee Chair
Ellwood, Brooks B. Committee Member
Hanor, Jeffrey S. Committee Member
Warny, Sophie A. Committee Member
Tague, Robert G. Dean's Representative
  • salamander
  • fossil
  • Hemphillian
  • Hemingfordian
  • Arikareean
  • frog
Date of Defense 2009-10-29
Availability unrestricted
The late Barstovian Fort Polk herpetofauna represents the most diverse herpetofauna on the Gulf Coast, USA, and includes 15 genera from ten families. The herpetofaunal composition of Fort Polk and Miocene east Texas localities is similar enough to Great Plains localities that they are all considered to be one biogeographical province during the Barstovian. The use of ternary diagrams, ratios of herpetological elements to kg matrix screened, and natricine-colubrine indices, has allowed determining the wetness of the Fort Polk sites. Development of a composite stratigraphic section for North American fossil snakes has allowed recognition of two extinctions of fossil snakes during the Miocene. North American and European Miocene snake faunas display a replacement of boids by colubrids in the Early to Middle Miocene and Late Oligocene, respectively. European fossil snake data show a decrease in colubrid numbers from the Early to Middle Miocene.
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