Fig. 1.Phalacrocorax auritus. Photograph by Lee Karney, US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Cormorants are large fish-eaters that are reliant on extensive areas of water to support their prey. Dark Canyon Cave is close to the Pecos Valley, where aquatic habitats should have been plentiful.
Howard (1971) indicated that the single cormorant bone, an ulna, was larger than that of local cormorants, being nearer in size to that of the Alaskan subspecies. A Pleistocene cormorant from Crypt Cave, in Nevada, also appeared similar in size and proportions to the Alaskan subspecies (Howard 1958). Situations where Pleistocene taxa are more similar in size to more northern populations are not uncommon. The Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is a good example (Guilday 1967).
Mid/Late Wisconsin: Dark Canyon Cave (Howard 1971).
Literature. Guilday 1967; Howard 1958; 1971.
Last Update: 7 Nov 2008