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Review and prospectus of the Late Pleistocene fauna

By Stephen K Donovan, Els Baalbergen, Marlous Ouwendijk and Christopher R C Paul


a karstic feature that was largely quarried away during road building before the mid-1980s. However, it is the most important site for Late Pleistocene terrestrial palaeontology on the island; 80+ species have been recognized, although some await formal description. The site is about 30,000 years old (oxygen isotope stage 3), but may span at least 15,000 years. The invertebrate fauna includes both land snails and arthropods, largely or entirely derived from the surrounding area; none are obligate cave dwellers. The 62 species of land snails are the most diverse of any Jamaican cave, but, unlike other sites, do not indicate local environmental stability during the Late Pleistocene; only about half the snail taxa found in the cave still occur in the local area. The arthropods include the only fossil millipedes, isopods and insects (fly puparia, beetle elytra) in the Jamaican fossil record, in addition to a land crab. The vertebrate fauna remains under-studied, but includes a rodent, three species of bat and a flightless ibis, in addition to undifferentiated bird, reptile and amphibian remains

Topics: oxygen isotope stage 3, taphonomy, palaeoecology, vertebrates, land snails, arthropods
Year: 2013
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