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A nearly complete fossil skull, including the rostrum, of blue marlin, Makaira nigricansLacepède, 1802 (Perciformes: Xiphioidei: Istiophoridae), was collected from the Oso Member (latest Miocene) of the Capistrano Formation, Mission Viejo, Orange County, California. The specimen is compared with extant and fossil istiophorids, and 19 of its 20 morphological variables are within the range of values observed for extant M. nigricans, whereas only 13 or less variables are within the observed range of other extant istiophorids. Because extant M. nigricans usually inhabits a water column with a height of about 200 m or more and is the most tropical of all xiphioid species, its presence supports the hypotheses that the Oso Member was deposited at upper bathyal depths or greater and that the coastal paleoclimate of southern California was warmer during the late Miocene than at present.
We established 42 carnivore detection stations in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA, in June 2007 to gather baseline information about wildlife species in the park. We documented the widespread presence of coyotes (Canis latrans), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), and raccoons (Procyon lotor), and the localized presence of bobcats (Lynx rufus), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana). Carnivore diversity and detection rates were greatest at the park's borders and along wooded canyons. Our data suggest a possible avoidance of areas heavily used by hikers and dogs, despite the presence of suitable habitat. This represents Griffith Park's first formal mammal survey.
A new species of early Miocene croaker of the genus Pogonias (Perciformes: Sciaenidae) from the marine upper Olcese Sand, southeastern San Joaquin Valley, Kern County, California is described based on saccular ( = sagittae) otoliths. This is the first fossil record of the genus Pogonias from the eastern Pacific Rim. It is hypothesized that this new species of Pogonias or its ancestor emigrated from the Gulf Stream of the western Atlantic into the eastern Pacific via the Panama seaway during or prior to the late early Miocene.