Great Basin Naturalist


A total of 395 microtine rodent specimens recovered from Snake Creek Burial Cave (SCBC) are referred to Microtus sp. and Lemmiscus curtatus. Radiocarbon and Uranium series dates indicated an age for these fossils of between 9460 ± 160 yr. B.P. and 15,100 ± 700 yr. B.P. The sample of lower first molars of Lemmiscus includes 4-, 5-, and 6-closed triangle morphotypes. Earlier reports of the 4-closed triangle morphotype are from Irvingtonian deposits in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico and from early Rancholabrean deposits in Washington. The morphotype is not known in living populations of Lemmiscus. SCBC specimens constitute the youngest record of the 4-closed triangle morphotype and are the only specimens reported from the late Rancholabrean. The time of disappearance of Lemmiscus with this molar morphology is unknown, but populations with this morphotype possibly became extinct at or near the end of the Pleistocene.