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Decapod Crustaceans from the Puente Formation (Late Middle to Early Late Miocene), California: A Possible Mass Death





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Decapod crustaceans are reported for the first time from the late middle to early late Miocene Puente Formation, Riverside County, California. A single specimen of penaeid shrimp and numerous cancrid crabs, referred to Metacarcinus danai Nations, were collected in association with a mixed assemblage of terrestrial plants, a few bivalves, marine mammals, and numerous taxa of microfossils. Living species of Metacarcinus are found in temperate, normal-marine conditions in water depths up to about 100 m. Thus, an inner shelf, shallow- water environment of deposition is postulated for this part of the Puente Formation. The accumulation of many articulated fossils suggests rapid killing and burial of many individuals, suggestive of a mass death.