Of Burros Bears and Dogs

The tales of the burros Prunes and Shorty, the dog Bum, and Old Mose, a notorious grizzly and one of the last grizzlies in the park, are prominent in South Park folklore. According to Bair (1959), Prunes (1867-1930) was owned by Rupert Sherwood and packed so long for the gold mines in the Alma-Fairplay district that few could remember when he had started. Prospectors would send him down the mountain with a note tied to his saddle he would return with his packs filled with food and supplies for...

Accumulation of Bones

At least three vectors of bone accumulation seemed to have been active when the cave was open in the early and middle Pleistocene. The most important of these was probably the propensity of wood rats (Neotoma spp.) to collect random items to incorporate into their middens (Betancourt et al., 1990). Collected items include carnivoran fecal pellets and raptor regurgitation pellets, which are frequently laden with the bones of small vertebrates (especially mammals) that the predators ate. Wood...

Early Trails And Wagon Roads

Several natural passes, including Kenosha, Wilkerson, Trout Creek, and Hoosier, open through the mountains into South Park. Early trappers, traders, explorers, prospectors, and miners reached South Park on foot or horseback following old Indian trails through these passes (see map by Scott, 1975). Wagon roads were eventually built through the passes into South Park in the late 1850s and early 1860s, some of them as tollways. These roads opened up South Park to stage lines and freight companies....

Colleen N Baxter

This chapter establishes the presence of certain leporid taxa in the DMNH Velvet Room excavations and in Mark's Sink, which here collectively are called the DMNH Velvet Room sites. As noted in chapter 2, the taphonomy of Porcupine Cave is complex. Some rooms were carnivore dens, and in others, such as the Velvet Room, wood rats (Neotoma spp.) seem to have been the principal agent for accumulation. These animals built their nests within the room, scavenging outside for bones, twigs, and other...

Subgenus Leucocrossuromys Hollister

LEUCURUS MERRIAM, 1890 FIGURE 17.1H REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 17.1. NISP 427, MNI 83. IDENTIFICATION AND DESCRIPTION Several Porcupine Cave sites (Pit, VR-DMNH, VR-CM, MS, and WH) include fossils of undoubted prairie dogs (Cynomys). Characters supporting this assignment include great hypsodonty (for sciurids), large size, the presence of an accessory lophule along the buc-codistal margin of the protoloph on M3, a complete protolophid on p4, a complete metalophid on m3...

Species Lists

Tables 10.1-10.13 list the species that are documented in this book from each of the Porcupine Cave localities. NISP is derived by counting each specimen that was identified as belonging to a particular taxon. MNI, in contrast, attempts to recognize the minimum number of individuals that would account for all of the specimens assigned to a given taxon. NISP overestimates the actual number of individuals, whereas MNI typically underestimates the actual number of individuals (Lyman, 1994). Which...

The Fossil Records of the Pit Locality

The Pit locality (UCMP V93173, CM 1925) is well sampled, with 1650 Neotoma specimens examined (appendix 18.1). Interesting variation in the numbers and species of wood rat specimens occurs through the different stratigraphic levels, and those differences do not seem to arise from collection biases (see chapter 2, Barnosky and Rasmussen 1988 , and Wood and Barnosky 1994 for information on excavation and processing procedures). The number of specimens per level varies greatly, from a maximum of...

Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps was established in 1933 to employ U.S. male citizens during the Great Depression. One of their camps, located near Trout Creek, was active for several years before closing in 1938 (Shaputis and Kelly, 1982 Simmons, 1990). In an attempt to prevent erosion in the area, the men built check dams and contoured terraces and planted willows along Badger Creek, Herring Creek, and Castle Rock Gulch thousands of acres were planted with pine trees. The baseball game between...

Preservation of Bones

Cave environments protect bones from decay because temperature fluctuations are slight, temperatures are relatively low (thus inhibiting bacterial activity), and caves frequently are formed in limestone, which keeps groundwater at pH values conducive to bone preservation. Porcupine Cave is no exception. The cave appears to have had entrances large enough for wood rats to enter during many periods between about 2 Ma and at least 300 Ka ago. Some openings sufficient for larger animals to pass...

Characteristic Remanences

All samples showed evidence of normal polarity overprinting. Some of this magnetization was viscous and weak, and it was easily removed in the earliest phases of AF demagnetization. However, some samples showed strong vectors indicating normal polarity (figure 6.3A). These vectors plotted directly upon the modern inclination and declination for Porcupine Cave for most of their demagnetization trajectory. Such samples FIGURE 6.2 Stratigraphy and paleo-magnetic sampling in DMNH 644. The samples...

The Floor of South Park

The floor of South Park supports four principal natural environments 1. Grasslands on dry terraces, slopes, and hills with deep water tables. 2. Streams and their floodplains. 3. Wetlands fed by groundwater. The floor has been highly modified over the past hundred years by agricultural water diversion, flood irrigation, the clearing of riparian vegetation, and the replacement of indigenous bison with cattle. The last wild Colorado bison was killed in the northeastern portion of South Park early...

Robert B Finley Jr

Wood rats, genus Neotoma, also widely known to speleologists as packrats, are commonly found in caves within their range, but they are primarily adapted for life outside caves. They are terrestrial rodents of the family Muridae, subfamily Sigmo-dontinae. The center of abundance and diversity of Neotoma is in the arid southwestern United States and Mexico. Since the diet of Neotoma consists mainly of foliage and fruits, they must forage outside caves for food, much of which is carried inside for...

Materials and Methods

Osteometric Mur

The specimens that were examined are listed in appendix 9.1. All measurements are in millimeters unless otherwise noted, and dimensions are illustrated in figures 9.1-9.3. A dial caliper and osteometric board were used to obtain measurements. Abbreviations specific to this chapter are as follows FIGURE 9.1 Dimensions of measurements for rodent and lagomorph specimens discussed in the text. Drawing by C. Suzane Ware. FIGURE 9.1 Dimensions of measurements for rodent and lagomorph specimens...

Geology of the Porcupine Cave Area

Location Porcupine Cave Colorado

The Manitou Dolomite accumulated on a broad, stable, westward-facing cratonic shelf bathed in shallow, well-oxygenated marine waters teeming with life Foster, 1972 Gerhard, 1972 Stewart and Poole, 1974 . After deposition as fossiliferous limestone, the strata were largely transformed into dolomite in the Porcupine Cave area, a process of recrystallization that obliterated much of the Ordovician fossil record. At the cave site, the Manitou Dolomite is a 55-m-thick, well-bedded, gray, resistant...

Preface

Since fossil vertebrates were first discovered at Porcupine Cave on the rim of South Park, Colorado, in 1981, the site has become the world's most important source of information about animals that lived in the high elevations of North America in the middle part of the ice ages, between approximately one million and 600,000 years ago. Beginning in 1985, teams of scientists and volunteers from three major research institutions the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Denver Museum of Nature...

Martes Species A

Dog Metaconid

REFERRED MATERIAL Velvet Room DMNH 33949 fragmentary R jaw with alveoli pl-4 G 0, 5, 6, 7, L30 34570 R Ml G 0, 5, 6, 7, L 30 . Mark's Sink 34569 fragmentary R maxilla with P4 8 96 36681 L jaw with alveoli c-ml L19, 7 97 39563 fragmentary L Ml 124, 7 97 40243 R c 8 96 40244 R C 8 96 40266 R c L22, 7 97 . Ferret Room DMNH 2277l skull fragments. Generator Dome DMNH L c Ll . Gypsum Room CM 48439 L ml. DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS Two diagnostic teeth, P4 and Ml, of a true marten subgenus Martes were...

Indeterminate Otter

REFERRED MATERIAL Badger Room DMNH 18151 R P3. DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS No additional specimens have been found of this large, unknown lutrine. REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 13.1. DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS To date, remains of badgers outnumber those of all other carnivores in Porcupine Cave, with at least 213 specimens identified. Badger bones are most common in the appropriately named Badger Room 122 specimens and in Generator Dome 37 specimens from the test trench . Both of these areas are...

Natricinae

Precloacal Vertebra

Diagnosis AND REMARKS A total of 67 vertebrae are assigned to Natricinae and have the following characteristics FIGURE 11.5. DMNH 27888 precloacal vertebra referred to Natricinae shown in anterior left and left lateral right views. Scale bar 2 mm. FIGURE 11.5. DMNH 27888 precloacal vertebra referred to Natricinae shown in anterior left and left lateral right views. Scale bar 2 mm. figure 11.5 a well-developed hypapophysis that is predominantly posteriorly angled not distinctly directed...

Genus Indeterminate

Precloacal Vertebra

A single specimen UCMP 399995 of an isolated, broken den-tary has relatively slender, weakly tricuspid teeth and a shallow dental gutter with an open Meckelian groove figure 11.3 . FIGURE 11.3. UCMP 399995 left dentary referred to Phrynosomatidae shown in lateral top and medial bottom views. Scale bar 4 mm. FIGURE 11.3. UCMP 399995 left dentary referred to Phrynosomatidae shown in lateral top and medial bottom views. Scale bar 4 mm. FIGURE 11.4. Porcupine Cave specimens referred to Viperidae....

Anthony D Barnosky And Samantha S B Hopkins

That possibility was based on one isolated m3 UCMP 158080 from level 7. This tooth, although superficially similar to Dipodomys lower third molars, is substantially larger length 1.4 mm, posterior width 1.3 mm, anterior width 0.9 mm than in D. ordii or D. microps. It compares favorably with Geomys bursarius in overall morphology, but it is slightly smaller and has enamel all the way around the occlusal surface, whereas G. bursarius has dentine tracts. A p4 UCMP 158081 from the same...

Order Accipitriformes Family Accipitridae

REFERRED MATERIAL Tip of premaxilla, DMNH 30155 right distal tarsometatarsus, DMNH 35391 two pedal phalanges, DMNH 30188 and 35819 four ungual phalanges, DMNH 13799, 35810, 35815, and 35816. provenance 30155 Location 644, Velvet Room, grid 4, level 3 A B mixed 30188 Location 644, Velvet Room, grid 21, level 2 B 13799 Location 942, Badger Room, mixed level 35810, 35815, 35816, 35819 Location 1349, Velvet Room, Mark's Sink 35391 Will's Hole. DESCRIPTION These specimens represent hawks near the...

Ranching in South Park

The first ranches in South Park were established soon after the first gold mining strikes in the 1850s. Fairplay became as much a ranching center as a mining center. The excellent grazing land in South Park is one of the primary reasons that cattle ranching became the most stable industry in the area. Hay grown in this area has been shipped as far away as Kentucky and even to England as feed for racehorses. The right of landowners having no access to streams to appropriate and divert water to...

Order Galliformes Family Phasianidae

CENTROCERCUS UROPHASIANUS BONAPARTE, 1827 REFERRED MATERIAL Two premaxilla, DMNH 30204 and CM 73359 three distal mandibular symphyses, DMNH 8830, 8924, and 35383 two humeral ends of right coracoid, DMNH 30205 and 3 5743 humeral end of left coracoid, DMNH 30079 proximal right scapula, DMNH 30205 fragment of furculum, DMNH 30205 distal left humerus, DMNH 35385 two right carpometacarpi missing ends, DMNH 30205 two distal left tibiotarsi, DMNH 9849 and 30205 right and left tarso-metatarsi with...

Class Mammalia Order Rodentia Family Muridae

IDENTIFICATION This species is readily identifiable it is one of the few North American arvicolines that has rootless molars that lack cement in the reentrant angles. The ml consists of a posterior loop and usually seven alternating, closed triangles, with a somewhat variable, but always relatively simplistic, anterior cap. Dentine tracts usually break the occlusal enamel surface on all salient angles in advanced stages of wear Hibbard, 1938, 1956, 1972 . The ml of Guildayomys hibbardi is also...

Taphonomy and Interpretation of Packrat Sign

Wood rats collect and accumulate at their dens great quantities of sticks, bones, owl pellets, carnivore scats, and almost anything they can carry. In caves and rock shelters these are protected for hundreds or thousands of years. Neotoma can thus be a valuable taphonomic agent for preservation of cave deposits and their bone remains. Donald L. Rasmussen recognized the richness and nature of the fossil deposits at Porcupine Cave and the unique taphon-omy that depended so much on wood rats...

Ecological Attributes of Neotoma Species

Six species of Neotoma are extant in Colorado N. cinerea, N. mexicana, N. floridana, N. albigula, N. micropus, and N. le-pida Finley, 1958 . They live in different parts of the state such that rarely more than three species are sympatric. The most widespread is N. cinerea, which lives throughout the higher mountains. N. mexicana is found in the foothill zone on both the east and west slopes and occurs only about 700 m lower in elevation than Porcupine Cave. N. floridana lives on the Great...

Class Mammalia Order Lagomorpha Family Ochotonidae

Specimens of Ochotona were recovered from six sites in Porcupine Cave appendix 14.1 Badger Room, Generator Dome, North American fossil Ochotona of Pliocene Latest Hemphillian and Blancan and Early Pleistocene Irvingtonian Age C. J. Bell and J. I. Mead field notes Guilday 1979 Mead and Grady 1996 Guilday 1979 Pfaff 1990, 1991 Mead and Grady 1996 note Rancholabrean-age localities are numerous, and descriptions of them can be found in Mead 1987 and Mead and Spaulding 1995 . The small morph may...

Order Lagomorpha Family Leporidae

The leporids from the Pit were identified by A. D. Barnosky. It was not possible to confidently identify leporine specimens to the level of species, or in most cases even genus, on the basis of qualitative traits of isolated teeth. The only moderately diagnostic tooth is the p3, but even that tooth is subject to wide variation within species and exhibits broad overlap in morphology between Lepus and Sylvilagus. In view of the potential for error in ascribing too great a level of taxonomic...

Bone Accumulation in Caves

Snowy Owl Skeleton

Bones are deposited at sites such as Porcupine Cave by four major processes Andrews, 1990 1. Animals die in the cave, particularly during hibernation, denning, or both. 2. Animals fall into the cave through a sinkhole at the surface. 3. Animals are taken into the cave by predators. 4. Bones are transported into the cave by wood rats Neotoma after having passed through the digestive tracts of carnivores or raptors or having become disarticulated from carcasses decomposing outside the cave...

Undifferentiated

DMNH 6563 L P4 G1, L6 6638 R jaw with ml G1, L8 6711 C G1, L9 6712 R humerus G1, L9 9934 L jaw with m1-2 G5, L5 10569 C G16, L16, G 10699 L femur G6, L5, B 10960 L jaw with m1 G8 8A, L3, B 10961 L jaw with m1 G8 8A, L1-6, A-B-C 10962 R jaw with m1 G7, L below 23, below H 10963 L innominate, L femur, L tibia G7, L 22, below H 12639 R femur G11-12, L mixed 13821 R c G16, L1, A 14047 L P4 G16, L3, B 15184 R tibia G8 8A, L mixed 22108 fragmentary R jaw with m1 G16, L17, H 22816 R C G8 8A, L2, A...

Known Geographic And Temporal Distribution

See Known Geographic and Temporal Distribution sections for Mictomys vetus or M. landesi and Mictomys kansasensis or M. meltoni. ALLOPHAIOMYS PLIOCAENICUS KORMOS, 1933 IDENTIFICATION Molars are rootless the m1 consists of a posterior loop, three alternating closed triangles, and well-developed primary wings triangles 4 and 5 terminology following Repenning, 1992 that are broadly confluent with a very simple anterior cap. Only m1s are identifiable as Allophaiomys. TAXONOMIC background The...

Family Canidae

REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 13.1. description and comments The coyote Canis latrans is the most common canid and the second most abundant carnivore in Porcupine Cave. At least 180 specimens have been identified from eight areas in the cave, with most of the remains coming from the Badger Room, Mark's Sink, Generator Dome, and Fissure Fill A. All age classes are represented. Two fragmentary maxillae with deciduous dentitions DMNH 36589 and 36590 , representing different age classes as shown...

Appendix Carnivore Specimens from Porcupine Cave

DMNH 6555 LM1 G1, L5 6577 L p3 G1, L7 6578 R C G1, L7 6610 L scapula G1, L7 6637 R p3 G1, L8 6639 R jaw G1, L8 8531 L jaw with m1 G1, L10 8532 L M1 G1, L10 8675 L jaw with m1 G4, L3 8676 fragmentary L jaw with m1 G4, L3 8689 R c G1, L6 9847 fragmentary R jaw with m1 G5, L8 10500 L c G5, L12 10957 L jaw with p3-m1 G10, L4, B 10958 fragmentary R jaw with p4-m1 G17, L7, D 13813 L p4 G16, L2, B 14047 L P4 G16, L3, B 14048 R m1 G16, L3, B 21236 R jaw with dp4 G15, L2, B 22015 L P4 G7, L4, B 22132 L...

History of the Ownership of the Porcupine Cave Property

Park County records reveal that Jacob G. Decker of Denver applied for the first claim to the property surrounding the cave on 13 May 1922, to use it for cattle ranching under the Homestead Act of 1909. This claim was first contested in 1925 by Lawrence E. Frees of Buena Vista, Colorado, then by Walter A. Filmer, who applied for a claim to the land on 23 October 1928 and patented said claim on 7 February 1931. In March 1931 he sold the land to cattle rancher Frank M. Fehling while keeping...

Alpine Tundra

Alpine tundra occurs above treeline, at approximately 3450 m elevation, on all mountains bordering South Park. The flora and vegetation are highly variable because of the diversity of bedrock types in these mountains. Bedrock includes both granite, which forms acid soils, and limestone and dolomite, which form alkaline soils. Tundra plants are highly specific to substrate chemistry, with different plant species and distinctive plant communities occurring on acid and alkaline soils Bamberg and...

American Indian History

American Indians were the first human inhabitants of South Park. The Utes were entrenched in central Colorado when the Spaniards first entered the North American interior in the fifteenth century Simmons, 1966 . Initially they were apparently loosely organized into family groups, but after the acquisition of horses from the Spanish they organized into larger bands Swift, 1980 . Because of the abundant game animals and salt deposits in the basin, Comanches, Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Arapahos also...

Magnetostratigraphic Constraints

FIGURE 6.3 Characteristic remanences from Velvet Room strata. A Samples interpreted to be strongly overprinted. B Samples interpreted to be primary normal magnetization. C Samples interpreted to be primary reversed magnetization. mean 358 61 k 9.5 2a 27 class I site mean 330 42 k 4.9 2a 45

Robert G Raynolds

Strata from the Velvet Room in Porcupine Cave contain an abundant and diverse vertebrate fossil record that suggests biostratigraphic ages ranging from as old as 2.0 Ma ago in Mark's Sink DMNH 1349 to as young as 600 Ka ago in the upper levels of the DMNH Velvet Room excavation DMNH 644 . Unfortunately, few external constraints on stratal age are available. This chapter attempts to improve the confidence of age assignments of the Velvet Room strata through paleo-magnetic sampling and analysis....

Comparison with Local Modern Fauna

To our knowledge, intensive surveys of the extant herpeto-fauna in the immediate vicinity of Porcupine Cave have not been conducted. Limited efforts to document extant herpeto- faunal diversity in the immediate vicinity of the cave were conducted by Robert Finley Jr. and resulted in multiple observations of the tiger salamander Ambystoma tigrinum including 10 vouchered specimens and the garter snake Thamnophis elegans including four vouchered specimens within a few miles of the cave all...

Figures

Per-hundred-year temperature change values for global warming events plotted against the interval of time over which the temperature change was measured 4 2.1. Location of Porcupine Cave 7 2.2. View of landscape around the cave entrance as of 1986 8 2.4. North to south profile through Porcupine Cave 12 2.5. West to east profile through Porcupine Cave 13 2.6. Detailed profiles through cross sections depicted in figure 2.3 14 2.7. Detailed profiles through cross sections depicted in figure...

Order Charadriiformes Family Scolopacidae

NUMENIUS MADAGASCARIENSIS LINNAEUS, 1766 OR N. ARQUATA LINNAEUS, 1758 REFERRED MATERIAL Distal half of right tarsometatarsus, DMNH 35864 fig. 12.1B . provenance Location 1349, Velvet Room, Mark's Sink, level 19. DESCRIPTION DMNH 35864 is much larger and more robust than tarsometatarsi of male Numenius americanus, N. borealis, N. minutus, N. tahitiensis, and N. phaeopus it is most similar in size and characters to N. madagascariensis and N. arquata. These species are both large curlews whose...

Paleopathology and Taphonomic Alteration

More than a hundred specimens from Porcupine Cave show signs of disease and trauma, and many more have been gnawed by rodents. In this preliminary study only a few specimens FIGURE 9.4 Lepus sp. hare or jackrabbit , DMNH 42146, innominate fragment from Mark's Sink. SEM photograph by Louis H. Taylor. FIGURE 9.4 Lepus sp. hare or jackrabbit , DMNH 42146, innominate fragment from Mark's Sink. SEM photograph by Louis H. Taylor. are described and figured as a representative sample. Appendix 9.1...

Paleopathology and Taphonomic Modification of Mammalian Bones from Porcupine Cave

ELAINE ANDERSON deceased Denver Museum of Nature and Science Disease is as old as life, for disease is a part of life, life in changing conditions. The story of Porcupine Cave would be incomplete without an understanding of health, disease, trauma, and the calamities that befell the animals whose remains were fossilized, as well as the conditions that led to the accumulation of the many bones in the cave. Paleopathology was first defined in Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary in 1895 and was...

Acknowledgments

Suzane Ware thanks Elaine Anderson for the opportunity to coauthor this chapter and to participate in the ongoing research on the paleopathology of Porcupine Cave. Elaine's generosity in sharing her knowledge, her patience in teaching, and her humor and general inspiration will always be much appreciated. The authors acknowledge Diane C. Carson for assistance in editing and manuscript preparation, Kathy Honda for providing research material and cataloging specimens, PJ Kremer for providing...

Chris Jass Paleontology

We are grateful to Pat Holroyd University of California Museum of Paleontology and Logan Ivy Denver Museum of Nature and Science for their assistance and patience in facilitating loans and dealing with curatorial matters. Tom Gier-makowski Museum of Southwestern Biology and Cindy Ramotnik National Biological Survey were extremely helpful in locating voucher specimens for extant amphibians and reptiles in the vicinity of Porcupine Cave. Elaine Anderson Denver Museum of Nature and Science and...

Sandra L Swift

Alaska Irvingtonian

The lagomorph family Ochotonidae, represented today by a single living genus Ochotona pika , originated in the middle Oligocene of Asia. During the late Miocene and into the Pliocene, the family flourished throughout Eurasia and migrated into North America. Beginning in the late Pliocene and throughout the Pleistocene, the group has declined, survived only by the genus Ochotona Erbajeva, 1988, 1994, 1996 Er-bajeva and Tyutkova, 1997 . Today more than 23 species of Ochotona live in Asia, and...