The marine molluscan fauna of the Prince Creek Formation near Ocean Point, northern Alaska, is of Danian age. It is the only diverse and abundant Danian molluscan fauna known from the Arctic Ocean realm, and is the first evidence for an indigenous Paleocene shallow-water biota within a discrete Arctic Ocean Basin faunal province.
A high percentage of endemic species, and two endemic genera, emphasize the degree to which the Arctic Ocean was geographically isolated from the world ocean during the earliest Tertiary. Many of the well-preserved Ocean Point mollusks, however, also occur in Danian faunas of the North American Western Interior, the Canadian Arctic Islands, Svalbard, and northwestern Europe, and are the basis for relating this Arctic Ocean fauna to that of the Danian world ocean.
The Arctic Ocean was a Danian refugium for some genera that became extinct elsewhere during the Jurassic and Cretaceous. At the same time, this nearly landlocked ocean fostered the evolution of new taxa that later in the Paleogene migrated into the world ocean by way of the northeastern Atlantic. The first Cenozoic occurrences are reported for the bivalves Integricardium (Integricardium), Oxytoma (Hypoxytoma), Placunopsis, Tancredia (Tancredia), and Tellinimera, and the oldest Cenozoic records given for the bivalves Gari (Garum), Neilo, and Yoldia (Cnesterium). Among the 25 species in the molluscan fauna are four new gastropod species, Amauropsis fetteri, Ellipsoscapha sohli, Mathilda (Fimbriatella) amundseni, and Polinices (Euspira) repenningi, two new bivalve genera, Arcticlam and Mytilon, and 15 new bivalve species, Arcticlam nanseni, Corbula (Caryocorbula) betsyae, Crenella kannoi, Cyrtodaria katieae, Gari (Garum) brouwersae, Integricardium (Integricardium) keenae, Mytilon theresae, Neilo gryci, Nucula (Nucula) micheleae, Nuculana (Jupiteria) moriyai, Oxytoma (Hypoxytoma) hargrovei, Placunopsis rothi, Tancredia (Tancredia) slavichi, Tellinimera kauffmani, and Yoldia (Cnesterium) gladenkovi.