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Biodiversity Response to Climate Change in the Middle PleistoceneThe Porcupine Cave Fauna from Colorado$
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Anthony Barnosky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240827

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240827.001.0001

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Fossil Wood Rats of Porcupine Cave: Tectonic or Climatic Controls?

Fossil Wood Rats of Porcupine Cave: Tectonic or Climatic Controls?

Chapter:
(p.193) Eighteen Fossil Wood Rats of Porcupine Cave: Tectonic or Climatic Controls?
Source:
Biodiversity Response to Climate Change in the Middle Pleistocene
Author(s):

Charles A. Repenning

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520240827.003.0018

This chapter discusses the criteria used to identify fossil specimens of wood rats from Porcupine Cave. More than 2,500 specimens, mostly isolated teeth, of Neotoma were examined from there. Modern and fossil species of Neotoma were used as comparative material and identifications were not considered firm unless at least two definitive characters affirmed them. Neotoma is a high-crowned cricetid rodent with roots on its teeth. Some exposure of the dentine is present in most wood rat species and produces dentine tracts, or waviness in the basal margin of the enamel. The degree of this development appears to be a consistent diagnostic character of the species of Neotoma and persists with wear.

Keywords:   wood rats, Neotoma, Porcupine Cave, rodent, dentine tracts

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