Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 60 Number 2: 103-106 - August 1998

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Vertebrate Paleontology of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico
Edward F. Frank and Richard Benson


Vertebrate fossil materials were collected from over a dozen cave localities on Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico. Guano deposits at these localities were excavated and sifted to recover bone materials. The predominant vertebrate fossils recovered at every sifting site were Audubon’s shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri) bones. Fragmentary undifferentiated lizard bones were also found sporadically in the sifted material. Fossil skeletal bones and fresh bones from other bird species were found on the surface of the cave floors at several localities. Extensive fossil guano deposits on the island are interpreted to be of mixed origin with deposits near entrances primarily derived from bird guano, and deposits from the darker interiors of the caves derived from bat guano.

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