Main Menu   Sites

Carlsbad Caverns

NM: Eddy Co.


Location of Carlsbad Caverns.Age (sloth). Uranium series, 111,900 +13,300/-11,700 BP (Hill and Gillette 1987).

General Description. Extensive cavern system currently occupied by a number of species of bats.

Discussion. Baker (1963), in a popular article, records several bats preserved as bones or mummies in Carlsbad Caverns. However, it is not clear as to which are older and which are younger, though he implies all are present as fossils. He cites presence, as a fossil, the "extinct Pleistocene freetail," which in context would be Tadarida constantinei. He also notes mummies of Tadarida brasiliensis, Myotis, Lasiurus, and Eptesicus. Lasiurus borealis and L. cinereus are listed as being present both as mummies and skeletal remains. In view of the uncertainty as to which are Pleistocene fossils, I have elected not to include Baker's records in the faunal list except for Tadarida constantinei.

The date on the sloth remains is of the oldest dated fossil in the Guadalupe Mountains region (Hill and Gillette 1987).


Nothrotheriops shastensis—Shasta Ground Sloth (Hill and Gillette 1987)
Tadarida constantinei—Constantine's Free-tailed Bat (Baker 1963).

Literature. Baker 1963; Hill and Gillette 1987.


Last Update: 7 Oct 2008