NPS Paleontology Research Abstract Volume


Jim Mead, Larry Agenbroad and Larry Middleton
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Arthur M. Phillips
Museum of Northern Arizona
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

The extinct Harrington's mountain goat (Oreamnos harringtoni) is predominantly known from dry cave localities in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, in addition to two sites in the Great Basin, Nevada, and from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. A dry shelter in Natural Bridges National Monument, on the central Colorado Plateau, southeastern Utah, preserves numerous remains of the extinct mountain goat in addition to pack rat middens. Remains from a 100-cm stratigraphic profile indicate that O. harringtoni lived on the plateau >39,800 yr B.P., the oldest directly dated find of extinct mountain goat. Plant microfossils indicate that Engelmann's spruce (Picea engelmannii), limber pine (Pinus flexilis), rose (Rosa cf. woodsii), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) grew during the late Pleistocene where a riparian and a pinyon-juniper (Pinus edulis - Juniperus osteosperma) community now predominates; Douglas fir are found only in mesic, protected, north-facing areas. Limber pine, Douglas fir, bark, and grasses were the major dietary components in the dung. A springtime diet of birch (Betula) is determined from pollen clumps in dung pellets.

Quaternary Research, vol.27,p.323-331,(1987).

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United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service