The Late Pleistoscene Hutias (Geocapromys Brownii) of Red Hills Fissure, Jamaica

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Biology (CMC), WM Keck Science (CMC), Biology (Pitzer), WM Keck Science (Pitzer), Biology (Scripps), WM Keck Science (Scripps), WM Keck Science

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Red Hills Fissure (RHF) is an in-filled, karstic solutional feature exposed by a roadcut in southern Jamaica. The site was discovered in 1988 and immediately recognized as an unusually rich source of late Quaternary gastropods and vertebrate bone dating from the late Pleistocene. Recent work on RHF has focused on the abundant remains of the endemic, mid-sized rodent Geocapromys brownii. Morphological data on a collection of hemi-mandibles has facilitated the construction of a life table for the species in the late Pleistocene: the first for any West Indian Pleistocene vertebrate. Studies of fluorine uptake in the fossil bone have also defined the time-span of the RHF deposit, approximately 25–40 kyr BP.

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