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Bison Chamber, Dry Cave

NM: Eddy Co.: 1280 m.


Location of the Bison Chamber site, Dry Cave.Age. Between 14,470 and 10,730 RCBP on basis of stratigraphic relationships with radiocarbon-dated sites (UTEP 54, UTEP 6).

General Description. UTEP Loc. 4. Deposits at the base of a debris slope from Bison Sink; below Boulder Room. Test Trench II (TT II), in the debris slope farther north on a balcony of Balcony Room, originally was considered part of this site, but later split off and given a new site number (UTEP 54). A diagram showing relationships of sites is available at the Balcony Room site account.

Discussion. Not surprisingly, listings obfuscate matters of importance. In the case of the horned lizards, the Texas Horned Lizard is a warm climate animal, while the live-bearing Mountain Short-horned Lizard survives in cooler temperatures. The former is represented in the fauna by 1 element; the latter, by 45. In general, the fauna represents a late Wisconsin fauna in which most taxa are representative of cooler, moister conditions than occur about the cave today, but with a few representatives of a warmer climate appearing. A few indications of an eastern influence also appear (Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, Prairie Vole), a tendency that sharpens somewhat a bit later.



Ambystoma mavortium—Barred Tiger Salamander
Spea bombifrons—Plains Spadefoot
Spea multiplicatus—Mexican Spadefoot
Anaxyrus woodhousii woodhousii—Woodhouse's Toad
Lithobates blairi/pipiens—Leopard Frogs


Crotaphytus collaris—Eastern Collared Lizard
Phrynosoma cornutum—Texas Horned Lizard
Phrynosoma hernandesi—Mountain Short-horned Lizard
Sceloporus cowlesi—Southern Plateau Lizard
Coluber/Masticophis—Racers, Whip Snakes
Pantherophis emoryi—Great Plains Rat Snake
Salvadora sp.—Patchnose Snakes
Thamnophis proximus—Western Ribbon Snake
Crotalus atrox—Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


Eremophila alpestris—Horned Lark
Sialia—Blue Birds
Calamospiza melanocorys—Lark Bunting
Carpodacus sp.—Purple Finches


Ictidomys tridecemlineatus—Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Dipodomys spectabilis—Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat
Perognathus sp.—Silky Pocket Mice
Thomomys bottae—Botta's Pocket Gopher
Thomomys talpoides—Northern Pocket Gopher (cf.)
Lemmiscus curtatus—Sagebrush Vole
Microtus mogollonensis—Mogollon Vole
Microtus ochrogaster—Prairie Vole
Neotoma cinerea—Bushy-tailed Woodrat
Neotoma micropus—Southern Plains Woodrat (?)
Peromyscus leucopus—White-footed Mouse
Peromyscus maniculatus— Deer Mouse
Peromyscus truei—Pinyon Mouse (cf.)
Reithrodontomys sp.—Harvest Mice
Lepus sp.—Jackrabbits
Sylvilagus nuttallii—Mountain Cottontail
Notiosorex dalquesti—Dalquest's Shrew (Carraway 2010)
Sorex merriami—Merriam's Shrew
Eptesicus fuscus—Big Brown Bat
Myotis lucifugus—Little Brown Bat
Myotis rectidentis—Straight-toothed Myotis (cf.)
Myotis velifer—Cave Myotis
Corynorhinus sp.—Big-eared Bats
Vulpes velox—Swift Fox (cf.)
Equus conversidens—Mexican Horse (cf.)
Equus scotti—Scott's Horse
Hemiauchenia macrocephala—Big-headed Llama
Antilocapra americana—Pronghorn

Bison antiquus—Ancient Bison (cf.)


Peromyscus crinitus—Canyon Mouse

Literature. Applegarth 1979; Carraway 2010; Harris 1970a, 1985a; Harris and Porter 1980; Holman 1970.


Last Update: 19 Feb 2015