Description of Localities

Most of the material described in this book was recovered from seven localities: the Badger Room, Fissure Fill A, the Gypsum Room, the Pit, and three spatially distinct excavations in the Velvet Room (Mark's Sink, DMNH 644, CM 1927 / UCMP V93175). Of these, the most closely studied have been the Pit and DMNH 644, because those localities contained stratified sequences composed of multiple stacked layers and yielded thousands of specimens. The Pit locality provides the main basis for interpreting the effects of middle Pleistocene environmental change on ecology and evolution. Material from the Badger Room has also been well studied and synthetically interpreted. Information from DMNH 644 is included inasmuch as is possible, but as of this writing the locality is still undergoing analysis, and complete results are not expected to be available for several more years. Fossils from other localities generally were analyzed only when a contributing author had a particular interest in them. Specimens from incompletely studied localities are reported in the systematic treatments, but they contribute less to the ecological and evolutionary interpretations that form the last third of this book. The sheer volume of material makes it impractical to provide a detailed study of all localities in this book. This fact, and the new discoveries that come to light each field season, inevitably mean that much new information remains to be reported by future generations of investigators.

Relevant information about each locality is presented in the following sections, with localities arranged alphabetically. Unless otherwise noted, specifics of the taphonomic situations are unknown. Most UCMP samples represent subsamples of material that was collected by CM crews.

scenario for Porcupine Cave. The worst-case scenarios are situations like the Generator Dome locality in the vicinity of a back-dirt pile, in which middle Pleistocene fossils were recovered tens of centimeters below the surface alongside modern debris (e.g., a match), indicating mixing of strata by either animals or humans.

These clearly different amounts of time averaging in different localities, plus some differences in the degree to which the three collection vectors noted previously produced the bones in a given locality, preclude generalized interpretations of the "Porcupine Cave fauna." Instead, the approach taken in this book is to specify from which localities fossils came in the systematic descriptions of the included taxa, and to suggest ecological interpretations only for those localities for which we have adequate sampling, temporal control, and appropriate taphonomic history. We emphasize that subsequent treat-

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