Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jim I. Mead

Committee Members

Stephen C. Wallace, Blaine W. Schubert


The Gray Fossil Site is a rich Hemphillian (North American Land Mammal Age) locality located in northeastern Tennessee which has produced tens-of-thousands of fossils of multiple taxa including hundreds of individual snake skeletal remains. Analyzed here are cranial and vertebral fossils identified as belonging to various colubrid taxa including Carphophis sp., Gyalopion sp., Heterodon sp., Natricinae indeterminate, Thamnophis sp., and a new, undescribed genus and species. In addition, multiple new features of snake vertebrae are described, some of which question the validity of the genus Neonatrix. Finally, the distribution and paleoecology of the listed genera allows an interpretation of how snake biogeography have transformed in the southern Appalachians since the Hemphillian.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted