Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 29 Number 3: 163-185 - October 1967

A publication of the National Speleological Society

A Preliminary Investigation of a Pleistocene Vertebrate Fauna from Crankshaft Pit, Jefferson County, Missouri
Ronald D. Oesch


Crankshaft Pit, Jefferson County, Missouri, has yielded a valuable Pleistocene bone deposit including 73 vertebrate species of which 54 are mammals, making one of the largest Pleistocene deposits found in the mid-American region to date. Seven of the 54 mammals found in the deposit are extinct: Megalonyx cf. M. jeffersoni, a ground sloth; Dasypus bellus, a large armadeillo, Synaptomys cf. S. australis, a bog lemming; Brachyprotoma sp., a skunk; Tapirus cf. T. excelsus, a large tapir; Equus sp., a Pleistocene horse, and Platygonus cf. P. compressus, a peccary. Eleven additional Recent species had not hertofore been reported from Missouri. Studies of the biotic reequirement of the species found in the deposit indicate that the climate must have been cooler, but with less severe winters thatn those experienced in Missouri today. The evidence suggests that the fauna dates from the latter part of the Wisconsin glacial period.

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