Abstract - Paleontological Investigations of Salamander Cave, Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills, South Dakot
Mead, Jim I. 1993. Paleontological Investigations of Salamander Cave, Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills, South Dakota. 36 p.
Salamander Cave (Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills, South Dakota) is a small cavern with a natural trap entrance. The Horse Room contains a small fauna produced by the infilling from a now-sealed entrance. Uranium-series analysis of speleothems and horse bone indicate that the Horse Room is recording a local faunal community dating approximately 252,000 years old. Sixteen taxa are recognized. Extinct taxa include the rodents Mictomys cf. M. meltoni, Microtus paroperarius, and Terricola meadensis, along with Canis cf. C. dirus, Equus spp., and Camelops sp. Extralimital species include Cynomys (Leucrossuromys) sp. and Lepus cf. L. americanus. The fauna may mark the youngest co-occurrence of the extinct rodent species. The Black Hills offer a desirable location to examine evolutionary changes and immigrational speciation because of the unique "middle ground" location in North America. This report is in the form of a manuscript for a chapter in a book honoring Dr. Rufus Churcher, to be published as a Miscellaneous Publication, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario, Canada. Book is not in the WICA library.
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Elk were the most widely distributed member of the deer family in North America and spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Mexico to northern Alberta. Elk began to disappear in the eastern United States in the early 1800s. More...