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Vulture Cave

AZ: Mohave Co., 645 m


Location of Vulture CaveAge. Mid and Late Pleistocene (Mead and Phillips 1981).

General Description. Mead and Phillips (1981): Vulture Cave is a small limestone cave in a tributary to the nearby Vulture Canyon. Woodrat middens and a Ringtail refuse area are distributed through the cave.


Gopherus morafkai—Morafka's Desert Tortoise (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya, 20 kya)

Gopherus agassizi
See discussion in the taxon account.

Crotaphytus collaris—Eastern Collared Lizard (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya)
Heloderma suspectum—Gila Monster (Mead and Phillips 1981)

In the published account (Mead and Phillips 1981), presence of the Gila Monster is shown in Table 3 as only occurring in the 1-2 ky time frame; in text, the age is given as " =13 kya" They also state (p. 268) that "The Vulture Cave specimen does not indicate unequivocally whether or not Heloderma inhabited the region during the late Pleistocene." Mead (2005) states that it has not been recovered in adequate chronologic position.

Sauromalus ater—Chuckwalla (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya; 14 kya)

Sauromelas obesus

Sceloporus tristichus—Northern Plateau Lizard (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya cf.)

Sceloporus cf. undulatus. Referred to S. undulatus (=S. tristichus) rather than other similarly-sized Sceloporus because this species occurs today in the Grand Canyon rim area.

Sceloporus magister—Desert Spiny Lizard (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya cf.)
Uta stansburiana—Side-blotched Lizard (Mead and Phillips 1981: 17 kya)
Aspidoscelis tigris—Tiger Whiptail (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya cf.)

Cnemidophorus cf. tigris

Lampropeltis getula—Common Kingsnake (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya)
Lampropeltis pyromelana—Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya)
Crotalus mitchelli/oreganus—Speckled or Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13, 15 kya)

Crotalus viridis or michelli. Since 1981, C. viridis has been subdivided, with the Arizona taxon becoming C. oreganus.

Hypsiglena chlorophaea—Western Night Snake (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13, 17-18 kya)

See H. torquata account for use of quotes.

Gymnogyps californianus—California Condor (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya)
Marmota flaviventris—Yellow-bellied Marmot (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya cf.)
Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel (Mead and Phillips 1981: 17 kya)

Spermophilus variegatus

Perognathus intermedius—Rock Pocket Mouse (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13, 14-15, 17 kya)
Microtus sp.—Voles (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13, 17 kya)
Neotoma spp.—Woodrats (Mead and Phillips 1981: 12-19, 22, 30 kya)
Peromyscus sp.—Deer Mice (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13, 15, 17, 19, 29 kya)
Erethizon dorsata—American Porcupine (Mead and Phillips 1981: =13 kya)
Notiosorex sp.—Notiosorex Shrews (Mead and Phillips 1981: 30 kya)

Notiosorex crawfordi

Bassariscus astutus—Ringtail (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya)
Camelops hesternus—Yesterday's Camel (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya cf.)
Odocoileus sp.—Odocoline Deer (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya)
Antilocapra americana—Pronghorn (Mead and Phillips 1981: 14 kya)
Ovis canadensis—Bighorn Sheep (Mead and Phillips 1981: ≤ 13 kya)

Literature. Mead 2005; Mead and Phillips 1981; Mead et al. 2005.


Last Update: 1 Mar 2013