Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 35 Number 3: 61-87 - July 1973

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Pleistocene Vertebrate Fauna of Bat Cave, Pulaski County, Missouri
Oscar Hawksley, Jack F. Reynolds and Robert L. Foley


Excavation of the Bone Passage in Bat Cave, Pulaski County, Missouri produced a late-Pleistocene vertebrate fauna. Of the 41 species recovered (minimum of 180 individuals), 34 were mammals. Twenty-seven precent of the mammals are northern or boreal. Such species as snowshoe rabbit (Lepus americanus), red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi), yellow-cheeked vole (Microtus xanthognathus), northern bog lemming (Synaptomys borealis) and fisher (Martes pennanti) are included, suggesting the presence of spruce forest with openings during a cool, moist period. Extinct forms represented are dire wold (Canis dirus), short-faced bear (Arctodus simus) and flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus) (st least 98 individuals). Statistical study of dire wolf metapodials provided evidence that the Missouri specimens may differ at least sub-specifically from those found at Rancho La Brea. The material is thought to have been deposted during a relatively short period estimated to have been somewhere between about 16,000 and 10,000 years BP.

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