Our ScientistsCraig Scott, Ph.D.

Curator of Fossil Mammals

Craig Scott

Craig Scott specializes in research on Palaeocene age mammals (65 to 55 million years ago) from both the Red Deer and Calgary areas, particularly the evolutionary relationships of early insectivorian mammals (a group that today includes hedgehogs, shrews, and moles). He hopes to integrate his data into an expanded research program that will include an ongoing study of mammal succession in Alberta, before and immediately after, the extinction of dinosaurs.

Contact Information

Toll free in Alberta:
310-0000 then (403) 823-7707

Toll free in North America
(outside Alberta):

Outside North American:

Email: craig.scott@gov.ab.ca

Current Research

Craig is currently involved in a number of areas of research, three of which are:

  • A collaborative project with Richard Fox of the University of Alberta and Don Brinkman, of the Royal Tyrrell Museum focusing on the systematics (i.e., the identity, biogeography, and evolutionary relationships) of a group of archaic mammals called multituberculates of Late Cretaceous (Campanian, approximately 80-75 million years ago) age from southern Alberta. Multituberculates are unusual mammals: they are rodent-like in their dental anatomy, and probably occupied a similar ecological niche, but were not at all related to modern rodents. Although multituberculates were taxonomically diverse and very successful in the Late Cretaceous, they have not been examined in detail; this project intends to rectify this by studying large samples that span the Belly River Group (Foremost, Oldman, and Dinosaur Park formations) of southern Alberta.
  • Another collaborative project is with Doug Boyer, Stony Brook University, New York, involving description and phylogenetic analysis (an analysis of evolutionary relatedness) of a small, hedgehog-like mammal from Palaeocene age rock in Alberta and Montana. This small mammal, called Litocherus notissimus, was previously known only from its dentition; new collections made near the city of Red Deer, Alberta, however, resulted in a sample that includes parts of the skull and postcranium (that part of the skeleton posterior to the skull). The new sample provides important and previously unknown information on parts of the skeletal anatomy of Litocherus, including aspects of the middle and inner ear, pelvis, femur, and ankle. The information gleaned from these new data indicate that Litocherus is distantly related to living hedgehogs, and that it may have lived part of the time in trees, similar to living tree squirrels.
  • He is also involved in a large project looking at mammals of earliest Palaeocene age from Alberta and Saskatchewan, trying to interpret the recovery of mammals after the K/T boundary.

Recent Publications

Scott, C. S. 2010. New cyriacotheriid pantodonts (Mammalia, Pantodonta) from the Paleocene of Alberta, Canada, and the relationships of Cyriacotheriidae. Journal of Paleontology 84:197-215.

Fox, R. C., C. S. Scott, and B. D. Rankin. 2010. Edworthia lerbekmoi, a new primitive paromomyid primate from the Torrejonian (early Paleocene) of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Paleontology 84:868-878.

Fox, R. C. and C. S. Scott. 2010. Comment on “A high latitude vertebrate fossil assemblage from the Late Cretaceous of west-central Alberta, Canada: Evidence for dinosaur nesting and vertebrate latitudinal gradient.” By F. Fanti and T. Miyashita [Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 275 (2009) 37-53]. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 285: 354-356.

Scott, C. S. 2010. New cyriacotheriid pantodonts (Mammalia, Pantodonta) from the Paleocene of Alberta, Canada, and the relationships of Cyriacotheriidae. Journal of Paleontology 84:197-215

Fox, R. C., C. S. Scott, and H. N. Bryant. In press. A new unusual therian mammal from the Late Cretaceous of Saskatchewan, Canada. Cretaceous Research.

Scott, C. S. 2006. A new erinaceid (Mammalia, Insectivora) from the late Paleocene of western Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 43:1695-1709.

Scott, C. S. and D. W. Krause. 2006. Multituberculates (Mammalia, Allotheria) from the earliest Tiffanian (late Paleocene) Douglass Quarry, eastern Crazy Mountains Basin, Montana. Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology, The University of Michigan 31:211-243.

Scott, C. S., M. W. Webb, and R. C. Fox. 2006. Horolodectes sunae, an enigmatic mammal from the late Paleocene of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Paleontology 80:1009-1025.

Scott, C. S. 2005. New neoplagiaulacid multituberculates (Mammalia, Allotheria) from the Paleocene of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Paleontology 79:1189-1213.

Scott, C. S. and R. C. Fox. 2005. Windows on the evolution of Picrodus (Plesiadapiformes, Primates): morphology and relationships of a species complex from the Paleocene of Alberta. Journal of Paleontology 79:635-657.

Fox, R. C. and C. S. Scott. 2005. First evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals. Nature 435:1091-1093.

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