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Papago Springs Cave

AZ: Santa Cruz Co., 1560 m

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Arizona template.

Age. Dates range from 246 ± 19 kya to 26.7 ± 0.7 kya on speleothems and fossil Stockoceros bones. Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) do point out that the dates available do not necessarily apply to everything within a unit. Dates from various units are at 246 kya, >172 kya (Section 1, unit 6 and recorded here and in taxon accounts as Rancholabrean); 23.3 kya, 33.5 kya (Section 2, top of unit 5; interpreted here as mid Wisconsin); 127 kya, 133 kya (bottom of unit 5; assumed to be of Sangamonian interglacial age); 85.9 kya (Section 2, unit 6; interpreted here as early Wisconsin); and 42.4 kya, 42.9 kya (Section 2, unit 7; mid Wisconsin)(Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999). In addition, those from the Annex are considered to be mid Wisconsin. Most of the fossil material dates to the mid Wisconsin of Section 2, unit 7 (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999).

General Description. The cave is located in the Canelo Hills. Both lower (to 1395 m) and higher (to 1785 m) elevations occur within 5 km of the cave, and the predominant current vegetation is Madrean evergreen woodland (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999). The geology, cave deposits descriptions, and dating data are given in Czaplewski and Peachey et al. (1999).

Discussion. The Sangamonian Interglacial (the interglacial previous to the present Holocene) produced only two taxa: Hyla (tree frog) and Stockoceros onusrosagris (treated as S. conklingi here—see the S. conklingi account for reasons for synonymizing the two). Most of the material garnered by Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) was from mid Wisconsin deposits. However, some were from deposits dated as 246 kya and >172 kya; these are given in the listing as Rancholabrean, as are those treated by Skinner (1942) and those of Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) from undated deposits. It is quite probable that many or all of Skinner's fossils are mid Wisconsin, but direct dates are unavailable.

In 1934, Roosevelt and Burden discovered the fossil deposits and described the extinct pronghorn as Tetrameryx onusrosagris. Skinner (1942) later made a large collection of vertebrates from the cave, reporting the Pleistocene fauna along with Holocene and archaeological material. Later research, including collecting, was carried out between 1987 and 1996, resulting in two major publications: Czaplewski and Peachey et al. (1999) on physical aspects of the cave and deposits and Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) on the vertebrate paleofauna.

In the faunal list below, what is interpreted to be the current accepted name is given in the main citation; if different, the name given in the original publication is given below in smaller type, as are comments.

Fauna.

Rancholabrean

Amphibia

Ambystoma mavortium—Barred Tiger Salamander (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Hyla sp.—Treefrog (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Reptilia

Colubridae—Colubrid Snakes (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Crotalidae—Rattlesnakes and Relatives (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Natricidae—Natricid Snakes (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Natricinae

Aves

Threskiornithidae—Ibises and Spoonbills (Skinner 1942)

Threskiornithoidae

Meleagris crassipes—Big-foot Turkey (Rea 1980)

Mammalia

Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999; Skinner 1942)

Spermophilus variegatus

Tamias sp.—Chipmunk (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Skinner (1942) listed Eutamias ?dorsalis on the basis of two lower jaws. However, dental measurements by Fling (1997) strongly suggest that only T. minimus is identifiable on the basis of dental characteristics.

Thomomys bottae/umbrinus—Botta's Pocket Gopher/Southern Pocket Gopher (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Neotoma albigula—White-throated Woodrat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Neotoma mexicana—Mexican Woodrat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Onychomys leucogaster—Northern Grasshopper Mouse (Skinner 1942: ?)
Lepus californicus—Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Skinner 1942)
Sylvilagus audubonii—Desert Cottontail (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.
Tadarida brasiliensis—Mexican Free-tailed Bat (Skinner 1942: ? sp.)

Rejected--Mead et al. (2005) note that Skinner's specimens have been reexamined and are not Tadarida brasiliensis.

Antrozous pallidus—Pallid Bat (Skinner 1942)
Myotis evotis—Long-Eared Myotis (Skinner 1942: ? sp.)
Canis latrans—Coyote (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) named Canis caneloensis from a Papago Springs Cave skull; it is now considered to be C. latrans.

Canis lupus—Gray Wolf (Skinner 1942)

Canis nubilus

Urocyon cinereoargenteus—Gray Fox (Skinner 1942)
Mustela frenata—Long-tailed Weasel (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Taxidea taxus—American Badger (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) named a new subspecies, (Taxidea taxus papagoensis), from Papago Springs Cave material.

Spilogale sp.—Spotted Skunks (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) listed Spilogale arizonae, which now is considered to be S. gracilis. Spilogale gracilis is most likely the species represented, but osteological criteria to separate this species from S. putorius have not been established.

Bassariscus astutus—Ringtail (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) named the Papago Springs Cave material as B. sonoitensis. This species was synonymized as conspecific to B. astutus by Harris (1990b), though he indicated that it might be considered as a temporal subspecies.

Equus francisci—Stilt-legged Onager (Skinner 1942)

Equus tau.

Platygonus compressus—Flat-headed Peccary (Skinner 1942)

Platygonus alemanii

Cervus sp.—Deer (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) noted that the specimen compared favorably with Cervus canadensis (=C. elaphus).

Stockoceros conklingi—Conkling's Pronghorn (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

S. onusrosagris.


Early Wisconsin

Stockoceros conklingi—Conkling's Pronghorn (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

S. onusrosagris.


Mid Wisconsin

Osteichthyes

Rhinichthys osculus—Speckled Dace (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Amphibia

Ambystoma mavortium—Barred Tiger Salamander (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)

cf. A. tigrinum

Anaxyrus woodhousii or A. punctatus—Woodhouse's Toad or Red-spotted Toad (Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999)

Bufo woodhousii or B. punctatus

Hyla sp.—Treefrog (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Gastrophryne sp.—Narrow-mouthed Frog (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Scaphiopus/Spea sp.—Spadefoot Toad (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Lithobates sp.—North American True Frogs (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)

Rana sp.


Reptilia

Crotaphytus sp.—Collared Lizard (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Phrynosoma hernandesi—Mountain Short-horned Lizard (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

P. douglasi

Sceloporus magister—Desert Spiny Lizard (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Large, medium, and small sceloporine lizards—Sceloporine Lizards (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Colubridae—Colubrid Snakes (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Crotalidae—Rattlesnakes and Relatives (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Natricidae—Natricid Snakes

Natricinae


Aves

Cyrtonyx montezumae—Montezuma Quail (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Aphelocoma wollweberi—Mexican Jay (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Aphelocoma ultramarina

Salpinctes obsoletus—Rock Wren (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Mammalia

Marmota flaviventris—Yellow-bellied Marmot (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Sciurus aberti—Abert's Squirrel (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf. gen. et sp.)
Tamias sp.—Chipmunk (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Skinner (1942) listed Eutamias ?dorsalis on the basis of two lower jaws. However, dental measurements by Fling (1997) strongly suggest that only T. minimus is identifiable on the basis of dental characteristics.

Xerospermophilus spilosoma—Spotted Ground Squirrel (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)

Spermophilus spilosoma

Perognathus/Chaetodipus—Silky/Spiny Pocket Mouse (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Skinner (1942) listed Perognathus ?apache, apparently on the basis of a partial lower jaw. In view of the difficulty in separating the various pocket mice, it seems best to go with Perognathus/Chaetodipus

Cratogeomys/Geomys—Yellow-faced or Plains Pocket Gopher (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Thomomys bottae/umbrinus—Botta's Pocket Gopher/Southern Pocket Gopher (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Microtus sp.—Voles (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Skinner listed Microtus ?mexicanus (presumably = to M. mogollonensis of this volume.

Peromyscus/Reithrodontomys—Deer Mice/Harvest Mice (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) didn't identify their material to species, but did suggest at least P. boylii and P. maniculatus were present. Skinner (1942) tentatively listed P. maniculatus and P. maniculatus and P. ?boylii or P. ?truei.

Neotoma albigula—White-throated Woodrat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Neotoma mexicana—Mexican Woodrat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)
Neotoma pygmaea/stephensi—Pygmy/Stephen's Woodrat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Onychomys sp.—Grasshopper Mouse (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Sigmodon arizonae—Arizona Cotton Rat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.)

Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) considered only one of their specimens tentatively identifiable to species.

Aztlanolagus agilis—Aztlán Rabbit (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Sylvilagus audubonii—Desert Cottontail (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999: cf.; Skinner 1942)
Notiosorex dalquesti—Dalquest's Shrew (Carraway 2010)
Sorex arizonae—Arizona Shrew (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Myotis sp. (small)—Small Myotis (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Myotis velifer—Cave Myotis (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Myotis thysanodes—Fringed Myotis (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Corynorhinus townsendii—Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Urocyon cinereoargenteus—Gray Fox (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Ursus americanus—Black Bear (Skinner 1942)

Skinner (1942) described a new subspecies (Ursus americanus gentryi) on the basis of a skull from this site. Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) listed Ursus cf. americanus from the mid Wisconsin.

Mephitis sp.—Striped and Hooded Skunks (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) point out that the two species are difficult to distinguish on osteological material; the Hooded Skunk is the common one in the vicinity of the cave today. Skinner (1942) listed Mephitis occidentalis, now considered to be a synonym of M. mephitis.

Equus conversidens—Mexican Horse (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)
Stockoceros conklingi—Conkling's Pronghorn (Skinner 1942; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

S. onusrosagris.

Bison antiquus—Ancient Bison (Skinner 1942)

Czaplewski and Mead et al. (1999) listed Cf. Bison from the mid Wisconsin.

Literature. Carraway 2010; Czaplewski and Peachey et al. 1999; Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999; Fling 1997; Harris 1990; Rea 1980; Roosevelt and Burden 1934; Skinner 1942.

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Last Update: 27 Feb 2013