NPS Paleontology Research Abstract Volume


PORT KENNEDY LOCAL FAUNA AND FLORA (MID-PLEISTOCENE),
VALLEY FORGE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK,
UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA

Edward Daeschler and Earle E. Spamer
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1195

The fossil fauna and flora recovered from the Port Kennedy deposit offers a rare glimpse of the biota living in southeastern Pennsylvania during the Irvingtonian Land Mammal Age (Mid-Pleistocene). Kurten and Anderson (1980) refer this assemblage to the Aftonian Interglacial or Kansan Glacial Stage. Extensive collections from this site were made in the late 19th century when limestone quarrying exposed a fossiliferous infilled fissure. The significant papers on the site were published by Charles Wheatley in 1871, Henry C. Mercer in 1895 and 1899, and Edward Drinker Cope in 1871, 1895, and 1899. What remained of the Port Kennedy deposit was filled after the quarry was abandoned.
About 1500 to 2000 specimens from this early work are housed in the collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. A project has been undertaken to curate and organize the Port Kennedy material. A paper reviewing the history of the site, depositional conditions, updating the taxonomy, and presenting new data on the fauna and flora, is currently in press (Daeschler, E., E. Spamer and D. Parris, The Mosasaur, v.5). The new faunal list includes 5 reptiles, 1 bird and 34 mammals. Noteworthy aspects of the fauna include a unique skunk, fisher, water rat and muskrat; early records of wolverine, black bear, river otter, and Blanding's turtle; and large population samples of Wheatley's ground sloth, lesser short-faced bear, long-nosed peccary and Hay's tapir.



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United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service