The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 45 Number 1: 3-11 - January 1983

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Paleoecological Implications of the Mammalian Fauna of Lower Sloth Cave Guadalupe Mountains, Texas
Lloyd E. Logan


The vertebrate fauna of Lower Sloth Cave, Culberson County, Texas, spans the transition from late Wisconsinan to Recent time. Extinct species represent 4.8% of the mammalian fauna. Extant, but extralimital, mammalian species represent an additional 21.4% of the fauna; thus, 26.2% of the 37 taxa of mammals recorded from Lower Sloth Cave no longer occur in the Guadalupe Mountains. The majority of the extralimital mammals are found as near as the mountains of northern New Mexico, with only Cryptotis parva suggesting an eastern influence on the fauna. Paleoclimatic reconstruction of the area indicates a slightly more mesic climate than at present. A late Pleistocene paleobotanical reconstruction of the area near Lower Sloth Cave suggests a spruce-fir forest interspersed with grassy glades or meadows. A single humerus of the Pleistocene Black Vulture (Coragyps occidentalis) was also recovered.

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