Archaeological investigations in Camels Back Cave, western Utah, recovered a series of small-mammal bone assemblages from stratified deposits dating between ca. 12,000 and 500 14C yr B.P. The cave's early Holocene fauna includes a number of species adapted to montane or mesic habitats containing grasses and/or sagebrush (e.g., Lepus townsendii, Marmota flaviventris, Reithrodontomys megalotis, and Brachylagus idahoensis) which suggest that the region was relatively cool and moist until after 8800 14C yr B.P. Between ca. 8600 and 8100 14C yr B.P. these mammals became locally extinct, taxonomic diversity declined, and there was an increase in species well-adapted to xeric, low-elevation habitats, including ground squirrels, Lepus californicus and Neotoma lepida. The early small-mammal record from Camels Back Cave is similar to the 11,300-6000 14C yr B.P. mammalian sequence from Homestead Cave, northwestern Utah, and provides corroborative data on Bonneville Basin paleoenvironments and mammalian responses to middle Holocene desertification. ?? 2002 University of Washington.
Additional publication details
Small-mammal data on early and middle Holocene climates and biotic communities in the Bonneville Basin, USA