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Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Geomyidae


Cratogeomys sp.—Yellow-faced Pocket GophersPleistocene regional distribution of Cratogeomys sp.

Bone Bed 2 (Frank 1968).


Late Wisconsin:Bonfire Shelter (Frank 1968).

Literature. Frank 1968.


Cratogeomys castanops (Baird 1852)—Yellow-faced Pocket GopherPleistocene distribution of Cratogeomys castanops.

Synonyms. Pappogeomys castanops.

Current regional distribution of Cratogeomys castanops.In our region, the species early on was known by its current name; it later was considered to belong to the genus Pappogeomys (Russell 1968), otherwise limited to Mexico; now, once again, Cratogeomys has been raised back to the generic level.

Fig. 1. Current distribution of Cratogeomys castanops in the study region. Black outline is the extent of the Chihuahuan Desert.

As can be seen in Fig. 1, The U-bar Cave occurrences are to the west of the current geographic range.

Lateral and medial views of a Cratogeomys dentary from U-Bar Cave.

Fig. 2. Lateral and medial aspects of the right dentary of Cratogeomys castanops from U-Bar Cave, Hidalgo Co., NM. Scale in mm.

Cratogeomys castanops is the only extant representative of the genus within the region. For separation from other Wisconsin-age regional pocket gophers, see the Geomyidae account. This is a species with a relatively large body size that generally inhabits relatively deep soils. It appears to be rather well adapted to arid conditions and may expand its range in times of drought.

The Holocene records are included below (though not mapped) because of the occurrence far from the historical distribution, indicating notable environmental differences from the present.


Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: Lost Valley (Harris 1993c); Rm Vanishing Floor (Harris 1993c); Sabertooth Camel Maze (Harris 1993c).

Mid Wisconsin: Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Dark Canyon Cave (Tebedge 1988); Hampton Court (Harris 1993c); NW Talus Slope (Harris 1993c); Pit N&W Animal Fair (Harris 1993c).

Mid/Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Jimenez Cave (Messing 1986); Sierra Diablo Cave (UTEP).

Late Wisconsin: Algerita Blossom Cave (Harris 1993c); Animal Fair 18-20 ka (Harris 1993c); Charlies Parlor (Harris 1989); Cueva Quebrada (Lundelius 1984); Harris' Pocket (Harris 1989); Human Corridor (Harris 1993c); Navar Ranch (Van Devender et al. 1987); Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003); Stalag 17 (Harris 1993c); TT II (Harris 1993c); U-Bar Cave 13-14 ka (Harris 1989); U-Bar Cave 14-15 ka (Harris 1989); U-Bar Cave 15-18 ka (Harris 1989); Upper Sloth Cave (Logan and Black 1979).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Balcony Room (UTEP); Burnet Cave (Schultz and Howard 1935; also Pappogeomys close to bulleri, rejected by Russell 1968); Fowlkes Cave (Dalquest and Stangl 1984b); Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003); Williams Cave (Ayer 1936).

Middle Holocene: Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (Lyman 1983).

Late Holocene: Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (Lyman 1983).

Literature. Ayer 1936; Dalquest and Stangl 1984b; Harris 1989, 1993c, 2003; Logan and Black 1979; Lundelius 1984; Lyman 1983; Messing 1986; Russell 1968; Schultz and Howard 1935; Tebedge 1988; Van Devender et al. 1987.


Cratogeomys sansimonensis Tomida 1987—San Simon Pocket GopherRegional Pleistocene distribution of Cratogeomys sansimonensis.

Synonyms. Pappogeomys sansimonensis.


Tomida (1987) described this species (as Pappogeomys sansimonensis) as part of the San Simon Fauna. He described it as being different from all recent species by the presence of narrow and thin enamel plates on the posterolabial surfaces of M1 and M2.

Late Blancan: San Simon Fauna (Tomida 1987).

Literature. Tomida 1987.


Last Update: 6 Oct 2013