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Slaughter Canyon Cave

NM: Eddy Co.


Location of Slaughter Canyon Cave.Age. Rancholabrean. A U-Th date from the overlying calcite layer sets the minimum age for the fossils at 209 ± 9 ka (Lundberg and McFarlane 2006).

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.


Sauria—Lizard (Morgan 2003)
Serpentes—Snake (Morgan 2003)
Gopherus morafkai—Morafka's Tortoise (Morgan 2003)
Large Raptorial Bird (Morgan 2003)
Sylvilagus audubonii—Desert Cottontail (Morgan 2003)
Myotis sp.— Myotis Bat (Morgan 2003)
Tadarida constantinei—Constantine's Free-tailed Bat (Morgan 2003)
Large Carnivore, possibly †Arctodus simus—Giant Short-faced Bear (Morgan 2003)
Navahoceros fricki—Mountain Deer (Kurtén 1975)
Capromeryx furcifer—Matthew's Pronghorn (White and Morgan 2011)
Perognathus sp.—Pocket Mouse (Morgan 2003)
Neotoma sp.—Woodrat (Morgan 2003)

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


Last Update: 5 Aug 2011