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 by the tooth eruption stages, were found in the Badger Room and indicate that the area was used as a den. A partial skull (DMNH 30076) belonged to an old animal, as shown by the heavily worn teeth. The canine puncture marks on its pre-maxilla, frontal, and palate are discussed in chapter 9. Adults are also represented; for example, in Generator Dome, an associated left p4, m1, and m2 (DMNH 27203), showing slight tooth wear, were found. Postcranial elements are numerous and include those of juvenile, young adult, and adult animals. A baculum of C. latrans (DMNH 20134) identical to that of extant coyotes was found in the Badger Room.

Coyotes are first recognized in the Irvingtonian and have been identified at Cumberland Cave, Maryland; Angus, Hay Springs, and Mullen, Nebraska; and Irvington, California. They are common in Rancholabrean faunas, especially in trap sites. Coyotes are frequently seen and heard in the vicinity of the cave today.


REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 13.1.

description and comments Canis edwardii, a canid that was larger than a coyote but smaller than a gray wolf, is now represented by 34 specimens from Porcupine Cave. The most complete and diagnostic specimen is DMNH 18353, a left mandible with p1, p3-m2 that was found in the Badger Room in 1994 (figure 13.5).

Canis edwardii has been identified at Curtis Ranch, Arizona (the type locality; Gazin, 1942); Anita, Arizona; Vallecito, California; Minaca Mesa, Chihuahua, Mexico; USGS Vert. Loc. M1367, Owyhee County, Idaho (Repenning, pers. comm., 1994); Arkalon, Kansas; Gilliland, Oklahoma; Port Kennedy Cave, Pennsylvania; and Leisey Shell Pit, Haile 21A, and Rigby Shell Pit, Florida. All of these sites are late Blancan/Irvingtonian

in age. At Leisey Shell Pit, C. edwardii was the most common canid (Berta, 1995). This species (including C. priscolatrans) was formerly thought to be ancestral to the extant red wolf, C. rufus (Nowak, 1979), but recent studies by Tedford (reported by R. M. Nowak at the Red Wolf Symposium, April 1999, Hays, Kansas) place C. edwardii at the base of the C. armbrusteriC. dirus line.


REFERRED MATERIAL Badger Room: DMNH 11571 R p4. Pit: CM 48437 fragmentary L jaw with p2, p3-4, m1 broken.

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS These two specimens are too small to be C. latrans and too large to be fox; they may represent an extinct canid. The dentary is thick (7.6 mm below p3-4), and the ventral border is straight. The p4 is smaller and narrower than that of C. latrans. Small coyote-like canids have been reported from late Blancan to late Rancholabrean faunas, but they have not been described or compared (Kurten and Anderson, 1980).


REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 13.1.

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS Vulpes velox is the most common fox in Porcupine Cave, with a minimum of 47 specimens identified. Other Irvingtonian occurrences include Angus, Nebraska, and Berends, Oklahoma. An inhabitant of open, arid areas, this small, delicate canid is not found anywhere near the cave today, and it is becoming increasingly rare throughout its range.


REFERRED MATERIAL Velvet Room: DMH 6554 R P1 (G1, L5); 8717 fragmentary R jaw with m2 (G4, L3); 35775 proximal L ulna (G11, L3). Mark's Sink: DMNH 33472 L P4 (8/96); 33511 R M1 (7/94); 38869 R M1 (L 29, 7/97). Will's Hole: DMNH 21437 R P4. Generator Dome: DMNH 22045 L m1 trigonid

(L 2). Badger Room: CM 49166 L proximal tibia. Pit: 48426 fragmentary R jaw with m1-2 (G mixed, L 1-3).

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS Several more specimens of Vulpes vulpes have been recovered since the first report of the species in the Irvingtonian (Anderson, 1996). All the specimens are larger than V. velox and Urocyon cinereoargenteus and much smaller than those of Canis latrans. In size and morphology, this sample closely resembles Recent Vulpes vulpes. This is the only Irvingtonian record of the species; it has been reported from 35 Rancholabrean faunas. The red fox is primarily associated with wooded areas, and in Colorado it is most common in the mountains.


REFERRED MATERIAL Pit: CM 48436 fragmentary R jaw with p4, p2-3, m1 broken (G5/6, L1). Velvet Room: DMNH 12318 R p3 (G1, L10).

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS No additional specimens of Urocyon cinereoargenteus, the gray fox, have been found since Anderson (1996) reported on the two specimens. The species is not known historically from Park County, although there are a few records from neighboring Chaffee County. Other Irvingtonian occurrences include Port Kennedy Cave, Pennsylvania; Cumberland Cave, Maryland; Conard Fissure, Arkansas; and Coleman IIA, Inglis 1A, and Leisey Shell Pit, Florida. Smaller than Vulpes vulpes, Urocyon cinereoargenteus has widely spaced cheek teeth, and the mandible has a straight ventral border and a prominent step below the angle. Found in brushy areas and deciduous forests, the gray fox, unlike other canids, frequently climbs trees, leaping from branch to branch (Nowak, 1991).

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