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Muskox Cave

NM: Eddy Co.: 1600 m.


Location of Muskox Cave.Age. Radiocarbon dates on bone collagen are 25,500 ± 1100 and 18,140 ± 200 BP (Logan 1981). Logan stated that the mammalian fauna dates from late Sangamon to recent times, but gave no explanation for his estimation of the time for initiation of the faunal material. It will be considered here as late Wisconsin, with the acknowledgement that earlier material also may be represented and likely Holocene material also is present (see discussion).

General Description. Muskox Cave is on the eastern face of the Guadalupe Mountains within Carlsbad Caverns National Park (Logan 1981).

Discussion. Logan (1981) described the Pleistocene opening into the cave as currently clogged and filled to within 5 to 10 m of the ground surface; when open, a drop of as much as 75 to 80 m was possible. Although Logan in text differentiates between the localities within the cave that appear to produce Pleistocene faunal remains and the material from beneath the present opening that primarily represent recent mammals, he makes no distinction in his list of taxa. As a result, some of the taxa listed here may be Holocene, though most are present in other Guadalupe Mountains late Wisconsin cave faunas. By my judgment, a few appear to fairly certainly be Holocene and have been marked with an asterisk.

Logan (1981) reported Stockoceros conklingi and S. onusrosagris from the site. I consider S. onusrosagris to be a synonym of the former. See the Stockoceros account for discussion regarding that genus.



Marmota flaviventris—Yellow-bellied Marmot (Logan 1981)
Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel (Logan 1981)
Tamias sp.—Chipmunk (Logan 1981)
*Perognathus merriami—Merriam's Pocket Mouse (Logan 1981)
Thomomys bottae—Botta's Pocket Gopher (Logan 1981: cf.)
Microtus mogollonensis—Mogollon Vole (Logan 1981)
Microtus ochrogaster—Prairie Vole (Logan 1981)
Microtus pennsylvanicus—Meadow Vole (Logan 1981)
Ondatra zibethicus—Common Muskrat (Logan 1981)
Neotoma cinerea—Bushy-tailed Woodrat (Logan 1981)
Neotoma leucodon—White-toothed Woodrat (Logan 1981)
Neotoma mexicana—Mexican Woodrat (Logan 1981)
Neotoma micropus—Southern Plains Woodrat (Logan 1981)
*Onychomys arenicola—Mearn's Grasshopper Mouse (Logan 1981)
Onychomys leucogaster—Northern Grasshopper Mouse (Logan 1981)
Peromyscus sp.—White-footed Mouse (Logan 1981)
*Reithrodontomys fulvescens—Fulvous Harvest Mouse (Logan 1981: cf. gen. et sp.)
Erethizon dorsata—American Porcupine (Logan 1981)
Sylvilagus floridanus—Eastern Cottontail (Logan 1981: cf.)
Sylvilagus nuttallii—Mountain Cottontail (Logan 1981)
Cryptotis parva—Least Shrew (Logan 1981)
Notiosorex dalquesti—Dalquest's Shrew (Carraway 2010)
Sorex cinereus—Masked Shrew (Logan 1981)
Sorex merriami—Merriam's Shrew (Logan 1981)
Sorex neomexicanus—New Mexican Shrew (Logan 1981)
Sorex navigator—Water Shrew (Logan 1981)

S. palustris

Tadarida sp.—Free-tailed Bat (Logan 1981)

Antrozous pallidus—Pallid Bat (Logan 1981)
Corynorhinus townsendii—Townsend's Big-eared Bat (Logan 1981)
Eptesicus fuscus—Big Brown Bat (Logan 1981)
Myotis thysanodes—Fringed Myotis (Logan 1981)
Myotis velifer—Cave Myotis (Logan 1981)
Miracinonyx trumani—American Cheetah (Logan 1981)
Lynx rufus—Bobcat (Logan 1981)
Panthera atrox—American Lion (Logan 1981)
Puma concolor—Mountain Lion (Logan 1981)
Canis dirus—Dire Wolf (Logan 1981)
Mustela frenata—Long-tailed Weasel (Logan 1981)
Conepatus sp.—Hog-nosed Skunk (Logan 1981)
Spilogale gracilis—Western Spotted Skunk (Logan 1981)
Bassariscus astutus—Ringtail (Logan 1981)
Equus sp.—Horse (Logan 1981)
Camelops sp.—American Camel (Logan 1981: cf.)
Antilocapra americana—Pronghorn (Logan 1981: cf. gen. et sp.)
Capromeryx furcifer—Matthew's Pronghorn (White and Morgan 2011)
Stockoceros conklingi—Conkling's Pronghorn (Logan 1981)
Euceratherium collinum—Shrub-ox (Logan 1981)

Cf. Preptoceras sinclairi

Oreamnos harringtoni—Harrington's Mountain Goat (Jass et al. 2000)

Literature. Carraway 2010; Jass et al. 2000; Logan 1981; White and Morgan 2011.


Last Update: 9 Apr 2019