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A New Mountain Goat from the Quaternary of Smith Creek Cave, Nevada


Chester Stock





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M. R. Harrington has called attention to the occurrence of a large limestone cave in the canyon wall of Smith Creek, approximately 34 miles north of Baker, White Pine County, Nevada. Preliminary excavations by the Southwest Museum brought to light considerable material representing a Quaternary assemblage of mammals and birds preserved in the cave deposits. The relationship of the fauna to a possible occupancy of the cavern by Man and the intrinsic interest which this assemblage possesses as coming from a site with elevation of approximately 6,200 feet, adjacent to the Bonneville basin of Utah, made a further investigation desirable. This was undertaken with the support of the Carnegie Institution of Washington during the past summer. One of the mammals whose remains are found in the Smith Creek Cave deposits is a mountain goat. While the genus Oreamnos occurs in the Pleistocene of North America, no species distinct from that of the living type has been recorded. In the present instance, however, the animal is clearly separable specifically from Oreamnos americanus.