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Slaughter Canyon Cave

NM: Eddy Co.


Location of Slaughter Canyon Cave.Age. Medial Irvingtonian. A U-Th date from the overlying calcite layer sets the minimum age for the fossils at 209 ± 9 ka (Lundberg and McFarlane 2006). Polyak et al. (2006) suggested the fossiliferous guano may be older than 400 ky, thus the tentative assignment to medial Irvingtonian (earlier listed here as Rancholabrean).

General Description. Cave in Slaughter Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns National Park.


Slaughter cave was long known as New Cave. This is the type locality for the extinct Constantine's Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida constantinei Lawrence 1960).

Pate (2002) and Morgan (2003) reported on some fossil findings from material excavated in April 2002 by Morgan, New Mexico Museum of Natural History. Some thousands of bones of Tadarida constantinei were recovered along with other vertebrates as noted below.

Bat fossils in guano, photo by Paul J. Morris

Bat fossils in guano. Photo used under Creative Commons from Paul J. Morris.


Phrynosoma sp.—Horned Lizards (Morgan and Harris 2015)
Serpentes—Snake (Morgan 2003)
Gopherus morafkai—Morafka's Tortoise (Morgan 2003)
Large Raptorial Bird (Morgan 2003)
Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel (Morgan and Harris 2015)
Perognathus sp.—Pocket Mouse (Morgan 2003)
Neotoma sp.—Woodrat (Morgan 2003)
Sylvilagus sp.—Cottontails (Morgan and Harris 2015)

As Sylvilagus auduboni in Morgan (2003).

Tadarida brasiliensis—Brazilian Free-tailed Bat (Morgan and Harris 2015: cf.)
Tadarida constantinei—Constantine's Free-tailed Bat (Morgan 2003)
Myotis sp.— Myotis Bat (2 species: Morgan 2003; Morgan and Harris 2015)
Vulpes sp.—Red Foxes (Morgan and Harris 2015)
Large Carnivore, possibly †Arctodus simus—Giant Short-faced Bear (Morgan 2003; not mentioned by Morgan and Harris 2015)
Navahoceros fricki—Mountain Deer (Kurtén 1975)
Capromeryx furcifer—Matthew's Pronghorn (White and Morgan 2011)
Stockoceros conklingi—Conkling's Pronghorn (Morgan and Harris 2015: cf.)
Ovis canadensis—Bighorn Sheep (Morgan and Harris 2015)

Literature. Harris 1985a; Kurtén 1975; Kurtén and Anderson 1980; Lawrence 1960; Lundberg and McFarlane 2006; Morgan 2003; Morgan and Harris 2015; Pate 2002; Polyak et al. 2006; Pate 2002; White and Morgan 2011.


Last Update: 4 Feb 2016