Chapter

Faunal Dynamics of Small Mammals through the Pit Sequence

Anthony D. Barnosky

in Biodiversity Response to Climate Change in the Middle Pleistocene

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520240827
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930858 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520240827.003.0023
Faunal Dynamics of Small Mammals through the Pit Sequence

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The Pit locality in the Porcupine Cave contains a stratified, circa-2-m-thick sequence of sediment that has yielded more than 7,200 identified fossils representing more than 1,500 individual animals. A minimum of 1 amphibian species, 2 reptile species, 1 bird species, and 57 mammal species have been recognized. This chapter describes and interprets the faunal dynamics through the entire sequence and for most taxa. Tracing the taxa through the sequence provides insight into the relative abundance of the small mammal community in the middle Pleistocene, how the fauna of interglacials differed from that of glacials, and how environments may have subtly fluctuated within the major climatic intervals defined by sedimentary criteria.

Keywords: Pit locality; Porcupine Cave; amphibian; reptile; bird; mammal; faunal dynamics; Pleistocene; interglacials; glacials

Chapter.  5285 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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