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Jimenez Cave

MEXICO: Chihuahua, 1450 m


Jimenez CaveAge. Mid/Late Wisconsin/Holocene. The age of the fauna is based solely on the recovered taxa. Presence of Aztlanolagus agilis (reported by Messing 1986 as an undescribed extinct rabbit) suggests the presence of mid-Wisconsin (or earlier) faunal elements, and presence of Microtus pennsylvanicus suggests that some of the fauna is late Wisconsin in age. Matrix was taken from the lower rooms of the cave and material was salvaged from deposits that had been excavated at some earlier time and dumped outside of the cave (Messing 1986).

General Description. Messing (1986) reported that the current area is Chihuahuan desertscrub. Several playa lakes (dry at the times of faunal recovery) are in the vicinity.

Discussion. The lack of stratigraphic data and material suitable for radiocarbon dating limits chronologic and ecologic interpretation, but presence of birds associated with aquatic habitats and occurrence of such mammals as the Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) and the Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) suggests conditions more mesic than at present.

Specimens are curated in the UTEP Biodiversity Collections: Paleobiology.



Ambystoma mavortium—Barred Tiger Salamander (Messing 1986)

Ambystoma tigrinum


Gopherus flavomarginatus—Bolson Tortoise (Messing 1986)


Phrynosoma sp.—Horned Lizards (Messing 1986)
Lampropeltis getula—Common Kingsnake (UTEP)
Pantherophis emoryi—Great Plains Rat Snake (UTEP)
Crotalus sp.—Rattlesnakes (Messing 1986)


Anas acuta—Pintail (Messing 1986)
Anas crecca—Green-winged Teal (Messing 1986: cf.)
Bucephala albeola—Bufflehead (Messing 1986: ?)
Oreortyx picta—Mountain Quail (Messing 1986: ? gen. et sp.)
Podilymbus podiceps—Pied-billed Grebe (Messing 1986)
Podiceps nigricollis—Eared Grebe (Messing 1986)
Coragyps occidentalis mexicanus—Western Black Vulture (Messing 1986)
Gymnogyps californianus—California Condor (Messing 1986)

Gymnogyps cf. amplus

Aquila sp.—Eagles (Messing 1986: cf.)
Fulica americana—American Coot (Messing 1986)
Charadrius vociferus—Killdeer (Messing 1986)
Larus sp.—Gulls (Messing 1986)
Geococcyx californianus—Greater Roadrunner (Messing 1986)
Bubo virginianus—Great Horned Owl (Messing 1986)
Athene cunicularia—Burrowing Owl (Messing 1986)

Speotyto cunicularis

Chordeiles minor—Common Nighthawk (Messing 1986)
Colaptes sp.—Flickers (Messing 1986)
Falco sparverius—American Kestrel (Messing 1986)
Corvus corax—Common Raven (Messing 1986)


Cynomys sp.—Prairie Dogs (Messing 1986)
Xerospermophilus spilosoma— (Messing 1986: cf.)

Spermophilus cf. spilosoma

Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel (Messing 1986)

Spermophilus variegatus

Dipodomys nelsoni/spectabilis—Nelson's or Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat (Messing 1986)
Chaetodipus/Perognathus—Pocket Mice (Messing 1986)
Cratogeomys castanops—Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher (Messing 1986)

Pappogeomys castanops

Thomomys bottae—Botta's Pocket Gopher (Messing 1986)

Thomomys cf. umbrinus

Microtus pennsylvanicus—Meadow Vole (Messing 1986)
Baiomys taylori—Northern Pygmy Mouse (Messing 1986)
Neotoma albigula—White-throated Woodrat (Messing 1986)
Neotoma lepida—Desert Woodrat (Messing 1986)
Neotoma micropus—Southern Plains Woodrat (Messing 1986: ?)
Neotoma floridana—Eastern Woodrat (Messing 1986: cf.)
Neotoma cinerea—Bushy-tailed Woodrat (Messing 1986: ?)
Onychomys sp.—Grasshopper Mouse (Messing 1986)
Peromyscus sp.—White-footed Mice (Messing 1986)
Reithrodontomys megalotis/montanus—Western or Plains Harvest Mouse (Messing 1986)
Sigmodon sp.—Cotton Rats (Messing 1986)
Aztlanolagus agilis—Aztlán Rabbit (Messing 1986)

Genus et species nov.

Lepus sp.—Jackrabbits (Messing 1986)
Sylvilagus audubonii—Desert Cottontail (Messing 1986)
Cryptotis parva—Least Shrew (Messing 1986)
Notiosorex sp.—Desert Shrews (Messing 1986)

Notiosorex crawfordi

Tadarida sp.—Free-tailed Bats (Messing 1986)
Antrozous pallidus—Pallid Bat (Messing 1986)
Myotis sp.—Myotis Bats (Messing 1986)
Lynx rufus—Bobcat (Messing 1986)
Puma concolor—Mountain Lion (Messing 1986)

Felis concolor

Canis latrans—Coyote (Messing 1986)
Ursus americanus—Black Bear (Messing 1986)
Mustela nigripes—Black-footed Ferret (Messing 1986)
Antilocapra americana—Pronghorn (Messing 1986)
Capromeryx furcifer—Matthew's Pronghorn (Messing 1986)

Capromeryx sp.

Literature. Messing 1986.


Last Update: 19 Feb 2015