Various abbreviations are used in the body of this work. Some of these are widespread, others mostly used in limited disciplines.
(....) Following a date (and with the
periods replaced by other characters), the laboratory number tied to the date.
± Plus and minus 1 standard deviation. Example: 15,030 ± 210.
? When associated with the scientific name of a taxon, it indicates considerable doubt about the identification; that is, the identification is consistent with the material, but other taxa cannot be ruled out. Example: ? Stockoceros; indicates that the genus is quite uncertain.
aff. affinis (affinity). Used by some authors to indicate a taxon is very similar to another but probably not the other; whereas cf. indicates probable conspecificity, aff. tends to be used to indicate that probably some unknown, closely related entity is present. Example: Dipodomys aff. merriami, suggesting that the taxon is very similar to D. merriami but probably not D. merriami.
BP Before present, with "present" defined as 1950 and usually used for radiocarbon dates. Example: The event occurred in 10,000 BP [equal to 10,000 years before 1950].
ca. Circa, about. Example: The height of the last glacial maximum was ca. 20 kya.
cal Calibrated radiocarbon date. Example: The Younger Dryas started at 12.9 cal kya.
cf. Confer [compare]. Used to indicate similarity, a likely identification. Example: Lepus cf. californicus indicates that likely the species Lepus californicus is represented. (Strictly speaking, it probably should be Lepus, cf. Lepus californicus, but since the first formulation is clear, I will use it).
cf. gen. A likely but uncertain identification at the generic level.
cf. sp. A likely but uncertain identification at the specific level.
cf. gen. et sp. Confer [compare] at both the generic and specific levels.
cm Centimeters. Example: One inch is equal to 2.54 cm.
rckya Thousands of years ago as determined by radiocarbon dating. Most of our 14C dates are younger than actual dates and require calibration to obtain the calendar dates. Most dates cited in this work actually are rckya dates unless specified as calendar or calibrated dates (see"cal" above).
ka Thousands of years. Example: The length of the Late Wisconsin is 15 ka.
kya Thousands of years ago. Example: The start of the Holocene is given as 10 kya.
m Meters (=3.28 feet).
mm Millimeters (25.4 mm/inch).
my Millions of years. Example: The Pleistocene lasted 2.6 my.
mya Millions of years ago. Example: The beginning of the Pleistocene is ca. 2.6 mya.
sp. Short for species. Usually used after a generic name to indicate the species within the genus is unidentified.
Last Update: 14 Feb 2013