The current range of the Gila Monster is primarily Sonoran Desert, although its range does extend into southwestern New Mexico.
Fig. 1. Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum). Photograph by Jeff Servoss, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
A right dentary (Fig. 2) was recovered from the mid Wisconsin deposits of U-Bar Cave. This site currently is near the edge of the geographic range of this large, poisonous lizard.
Mead (2005) notes that there is not adequately dated recovery in Arizona to affirm its presence in the last glacial. There appears to be conflicting chronologic data from Vulture Cave, and it is not recorded below.
Fig. 2. Medial (top) and lateral views of the right dentary of Heloderma suspectum from U-Bar Cave, Hidalgo Co., NM.
Mid Wisconsin: U-Bar Cave (Harris 1993c).
Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984).
1993c; Mead 2005; Mead et al. 1984.
Last Update: 10 Dec 2012