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Uglesich J, Gay RJ, Stegner MA, Huttenlocker AK, Irmis RB.2018. Paleontology of the Bears Ears National Monument: history of exploration and designation of the monument. PeerJ Preprints6:e3442v2https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.3442v2
Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) is a new, landscape-scale national monument jointly administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service in southeastern Utah as part of the National Conservation Lands system. As initially designated, BENM encompasses 1.3 million acres of land with exceptionally fossiliferous rock units. These units comprise a semi-continuous depositional record from the Pennsylvanian Period through the middle of the Cretaceous Period. Additional Quaternary and Holocene deposits are known from unconsolidated river gravels and cave deposits. The fossil record from BENM provides unique insights into several important paleontological periods of time, including the Pennsylvanian-Permian transition from fully aquatic to more fully terrestrial tetrapods; the rise of the dinosaurs following the Triassic-Jurassic extinction; and the response of ecosystems in dry climates to sudden temperature increases at the end of the last ice age and across the Holocene. While the paleontological resources of BENM are extensive, they have historically been under-studied. Here we summarize prior paleontological work in BENM and review the data used to support paleontological resource protection in the 2016 BENM proclamation.
Added two authors, revised majority of sections to include additional information and conclusions, expanded citations, performed additional analysis on publication data and revised figures to reflect this.
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