Indeterminate Otter


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 close to an ancient cave entrance and were probably used by badgers for shelter and denning. Remains of Taxidea taxus are uncommon in the Velvet Room, Mark's Sink, and the Pit. Ten limb bones missing epiphyses are from juveniles; no deciduous teeth have table 13.1 Taxidea taxus: Measurements of P4, M1, and ml from the Badger Room and a Recent Sample

Badger Room Recent

Length P4 12.08 (10.4-14.3) (N = 15) 11.73 (10.3-13.5) (N = 19)

Width M1 10.63 (9.8-11.9) (N = 12) 10.28 (9.3-11.6) (N = 19)

Length m1 13.63 (12.8-14.5) (N = 19) 13.55 (12.3-14.6) (N = 19)

notes: Measurements are in millimeters. Measurements are mean with observed range in parentheses.

table 13.2

Spilogaleputorius: Measurements of P4, Ml, and ml from Porcupine Cave and a Recent Sample

Velvet Room Mark's Sink Badger Room Recent

Length P4 6.25 (5.9-6.6) (N = 2) 5.98 (5.3-6.5) (N = 15) 5.64 (5.3-6.2) (N = 4) 6.04 (5.1-7.1) (N = 23)

Width M1 6.76 (5.7-6.6) (N = 2) 7.13 (5.1-7.2) (N = 12) 7.18 (5.8-6.3) (N = 7) 7.21 (4.8-7.3) (N = 22)

Length m1 6.76 (6.1-7.3) (N = 5) 7.13 (6.2-8.6) (N = 24) 7.18 (6.1-7.5) (N = 7) 7.21 (6.2-8.6) (N = 23)

notes: Measurements are in millimeters. Measurements are mean with observed range in parentheses.

been found. Measurements of the teeth, mandibles, and limb bones fall within ranges for Rancholabrean and Recent samples (table 13.1). The huge badgers from the late Pleistocene near Fairbanks, Alaska (Anderson, 1977), remain the largest known representatives of Taxidea taxus. Badgers, as well as their extensive diggings, are frequently encountered around the cave and camp today.


REFERRED MATERIAL See appendix 13.1.

description and comments Spilogale putorius is the most common mephitine and the third most abundant carnivore found in Porcupine Cave. Of the 172 specimens identified, 85 of them come from Mark's Sink. Other Irvingtonian occurrences include Inglis 1A, Coleman 2A, and Leisey Shell Pit, Florida; Conard Fissure, Arkansas; Trout Cave, West Virginia; Cumberland Cave, Maryland; and Curtis Ranch, Arizona, and the species has been found in more than 50 Ran-cholabrean faunas. Measurements of the Porcupine Cave specimens fall within those of other Pleistocene and Recent samples (table 13.2). Inhabitants of brushy, rocky, and wooded areas, Spilogale putorius is primarily insectivorous. The species is not found in South Park today.

Based on geographic and reproductive isolation, some workers (Kinlaw, 1995) recognize two species of Spilogale (spotted skunks) in the United States. Spilogale putorius, found from the Great Plains eastward, has a chromosome number of 64 and no delayed implantation. Spilogale gracilis, found in the western half of the country, has a chromosome number of 60 and a long (210-230 days) delayed implantation. Os-teologically, the two species appear to be identical, and since it is unknown when they attained reproductive isolation, I am referring the specimens from Porcupine Cave to S. putorius on biogeographic grounds.


REFERRED MATERIAL Velvet Room: DMNH 10969 associated skull fragments with L P4 and R M1 (G16, L19, I); 11013 R jaw with m1 (G8/8A, L mixed); 11014 anterior half skull with L I3, C, P3-M1, R I3, P3-M1 (G11-12, L mixed); 40229 palate with L I1-3 (G21, L20). Mark's Sink: DMNH 36669 L M1 (7/94); 36672 L jaw with p4-m1 (8/96). Will's Hole: DMNH 27847 anterior half skull with RP3-M1. Badger Room: DMNH 27050 fragmentary L jaw with p4. Generator Dome: DMNH 21470 R maxilla with P3, M1 (L1); 21471 fragmentary R jaw with m1 (L1). Pit: CM 48429 anterior half skull with RP3-4 (G1, L3); 49112 anterior half skull with LI3, P4-M1, RP4 (G1, L1-3).

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS In addition to the five specimens reported previously from the Velvet Room and the Pit (Anderson, 1996), remains of the short-faced skunk have now been recovered from Mark's Sink, Will's Hole, Badger Room, and Generator Dome. Brachyprotoma (figure 13.4) differs from other skunks in having only two upper premolars (other genera have three). The short face and jaws; crowded, overlapping premolars; and curved toothrows are characteristic features. The canines show deep striations (figure 13.4; Youngman, 1986). Brachyprotoma was the size of a small Spilo-gale, and its trenchant dentition indicates a probable diet of hard-shelled insects. The stratigraphic range of B. obtusata, the only recognized species, extends from the Irvingtonian (Port Kennedy Cave, Pennsylvania; Cumberland Cave, Maryland;

FIGURE 13.4 Brachyprotomaobtusata, DMNH 33778, left upper canine (showing the characteristic grooves) from Mark's Sink.

Hamilton Cave, West Virginia; and Conard Fissure, Arkansas) to the end of the Rancholabrean. It was one of the few small mammals to become extinct at that time, although the cause of its extinction is unknown.


REFERRED MATERIAL Will's Hole: DMNH 27209 L m1. Badger Room: UCMP 140541 R m1 trigonid. Generator Dome: DMNH 40383 L P4 (L 1). Fissure Fill A: CM 49141 fragmentary R jaw with p4-m1.

DESCRIPTION AND COMMENTS In addition to the two specimens previously reported (Anderson, 1996), a left m1 (DMNH 27209) was found in Will's Hole and a left P4 (DMNH 40383) was recovered in Generator Dome. Both teeth show slight wear, and their morphology and measurements are similar to late Rancholabrean and Recent specimens. Other

Irvingtonian occurrences of Mephitis mephitis include Inglis 1A and Coleman 2A, Florida; Conard Fissure, Arkansas; and Angus, Nebraska. In Colorado today, M. mephitis has the widest distribution and the broadest ecological tolerances, and in many areas it is the most common mephitine. Yet in the Irv-ingtonian at Porcupine Cave it was the rarest of the three skunks.

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