Development and Application of Land Mammal Ages in North America and Europe, a Comparison

  • Everett H. Lindsay
  • Richard H. Tedford
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 180)


During the last century the geologic time scale was developed from a sequential array of fossiliferous marine deposits, primarily in Europe. Prior to the last century the concept of geologic time was addressed by numerous natural scientists, including Steno, Buffon, Hutton, and Smith. With subsequent refinements, this time scale is now widely accepted as the chronologic framework for all geologic and biologic events in earth history. However, with rare exceptions (e.g., the Paris Basin) the application of this framework to continental sediments has been difficult because continental deposits are usually less extensive, superposition is more difficult to demonstrate, and interdigitation of marine and nonmarine rocks are rare. Because of these factors, vertebrate paleontologists have made few contributions to the development of the geologic time scale, even though their contributions to the concept of organic evolution has been significant.


Geologic Time Scale Mammal Fauna Life Zone Fossil Mammal Biostratigraphic Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Everett H. Lindsay
    • 1
  • Richard H. Tedford
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Vertebrate PaleontologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA

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