Late Quaternary Chorus Frog (Pseudacris) from the Channel Islands, California
Mead, Jim I.
Collins, Paul W.
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract.-Fossil and subfossil remains of the vertebrate faunas from the northern Channel Islands, southern California, have been studied for many decades. Continued interest has focused on skeletal remains of birds, rodents, and mammoths from archaeological and paleontological localities, but considerably less attention has been placed on the detailed description of the herpetofauna (salamanders, anurans [frogs and toads], lizards, and snakes) on the Channel Islands. We present descriptions of an ilium of an anuran from Santa Rosa Island (Larramendy North; radiocarbon dating at least 13,393 calibrated years ago) and two tibiofibulae San Miguel Island (Daisy Cave) dating from earliest and middle late Holocene layers. We identify the fossil ilium as Pseudacris sp. (chorus frog): 1) it is the lowest level that skeletal morphology permits us to attempt, 2) realizing that it appears morphologically closest to P. regilla, and 3) yet realizing that not all species of Pseudacris and Hyla have been directly compared or are understood. The extant amphibian fauna on these islands is depauperate. The remains presented here represent the first description of a fossil anuran from the northern Channel Islands. It is now understood that a chorus frog lived on glacial-age Santa Rosae Island, yet it is not understood when its distribution was reduced to just the present two largest islands, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz.