Three local (Tamias panamintinus, Ammospermophilus leucurus and Spermophilus variegatus) and five extralocal (Tamias minimus, Tamias palmeri, Marmota flaviventris, Spermophilus townsendii, and Spermophilus lateralis) sciurid species (Sciuridae) were identified from the late Pleistocene-early Holocene Kokoweef Cave paleofauna. This fauna was the first documentation of T. minimus, T. palmeri and S. townsendii from the Pleistocene of the Mohave Desert. The 30-ft sedimentary sequence apparently recorded the mid-to late-Wisconsian introduction of S. lateralis into the Kokweef fauna but otherwise documented general taxonomic stability. The ecological diversity of the fauna was consistent with--but did not require--the hypothesis of more equable late Pleistocene climates, and the dominant taxa (S. townsendii, M. flaviventris and S. lateralis) suggested a complex local habitat suite dominated by high-elevation montane woodlands possibly with stands of and mid-elevation xeric sagebrush. Local xeric taxa were rare or absent. All three dominant extralocal sciurids occurred above a level associated with an early Holocene date (9830 +/- 150 YBP) indicating their local persistence through the significant climatic and vegetational changes that occurred around 11,000 YBP. They may have suffered local extinction during the further climatic changes at about 8,000 YBP which led to the implacement of present desert communities.
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Sciuridae, Fossil; Paleontology -- Pleistocene; Paleontology -- California -- Mojave Desert
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Goodwin, H. Thomas, "Late Pleistocene Sciurids from Kokoweef Cave" (1986). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1099.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives