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1 August 2006 TWO NEW LATE PLEISTOCENE AVIFAUNAS FROM NEW MEXICO
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Abstract

We report two new late Pleistocene avifaunas from New Mexico, recovered from Sandia Cave during archaeological excavations by F. Hibben in the 1930s and the nearby Marmot Cave excavated in 2000. The fossil assemblage from Sandia Cave consists of at least 30 taxa, including seven extralimital and two extinct species, Coragyps occidentalis (extinct vulture) and Ectopistes migratorius (Passenger Pigeon). The avifauna from Marmot Cave is limited to eight taxa shared with Sandia Cave. Two new records of Gymnogyps californianus (California Condor) are reported from these sites, as well as new records of Lagopus sp. (ptarmigan), Aegolius funereus (Boreal Owl), and Micrathene whitneyi (Elf Owl) from New Mexico. Two new radiocarbon dates on fossil G. californianus from Sandia and Marmot cave are reported at 10 795 ± 50 and 25 090 ± 220 14C years before present (B.P.), respectively. These collections provide further evidence for mixed avian communities in New Mexico during the late Pleistocene and are similar to other cave avifaunas of comparable age from the Great Basin and Rocky Mountain regions. The birds from Sandia Cave that are shared with other fossil avifaunas include species currently found in arctic tundra, boreal, and steppe habitats, as well as open, xeric communities. This collection provides additional evidence for widespread steppe-tundra, shrub, and subalpine forest environments at lower elevations of western North America during the late Pleistocene.

Rebecka L. Brasso and Steven D. Emslie "TWO NEW LATE PLEISTOCENE AVIFAUNAS FROM NEW MEXICO," The Condor 108(3), 721-730, (1 August 2006). https://doi.org/10.1650/0010-5422(2006)108[721:TNLPAF]2.0.CO;2
Received: 6 September 2005; Accepted: 1 February 2006; Published: 1 August 2006
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