By Anthony D. Barnosky
This ebook chronicles the invention and research of animal fossils present in the most very important paleontological websites within the world-Porcupine Cave, situated at an elevation of 9,500 toes within the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With tens of hundreds of thousands of pointed out specimens, this website has develop into the main resource of data at the fauna of North America's better elevations among nearly 1 million and 600,000 years in the past, a interval that observed the development and retreat of glaciers quite a few occasions. formerly, little has been understood approximately how this dramatic weather swap affected existence throughout the center Pleistocene. as well as offering state of the art facts from Porcupine Cave, this research additionally offers groundbreaking research on what the knowledge from the location convey concerning the evolutionary and ecological changes that happened during this interval, laying off mild on how one of many world's such a lot urgent environmental concerns-global weather change-can impression existence on the earth. Illustrations: fifty eight b/w photos, seventy six line illustrations, fifty seven tables
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Additional resources for Biodiversity Response to Climate Change in the Middle Pleistocene: The Porcupine Cave Fauna from Colorado
Of these, the most closely studied have been the Pit and DMNH 644, because those localities contained stratified sequences composed of multiple stacked layers and yielded thousands of specimens. The Pit locality provides the main basis for interpreting the effects of middle Pleistocene environmental change on ecology and evolution. Material from the Badger Room has also been well studied and synthetically interpreted. Information from DMNH 644 is included inasmuch as is possible, but as of this writing the locality is still undergoing analysis, and complete results are not expected to be available for several more years.
Three characteristics of South Park distinguish it from Colorado’s three other major intermountain basins, North Park, Middle Park, and the San Luis Valley: 1. The floor of South Park is much higher in elevation than that of any other intermountain basin in Colorado or in North America. 2. The vegetation on the park floor is a grass-dominated steppe, whereas the other parks are dominated by shrubs. 3. Localized saline groundwater has created saline springs, ponds, and soils in an otherwise nonsaline landscape.
The earliest excavated grids (1–5) have modest data and were relatively thin [stratigraphically]. Subsequent grids were excavated to depths exceeding 3 m. Grids, or in some cases a pair of adjacent grids, were excavated in a series of numbered levels. Level 1 was at the top and excavation extended down to as far as level 33. While the digging was active, it was not practical to identify natural stratigraphic boundaries in the unconsolidated material; therefore levels were arbitrary, ranged in thickness from 5 to 10 cm, and were maintained with approximately horizontal floors (relative to datum) across grids.