The Late Pleistocene Fauna of Hoyo Negro


The fauna from Hoyo Negro Cenote preserves a diverse fauna represented by a large amount of bones from both human and animals. To date eleven species of extinct and extant animals have been identified. Extinct animals include the highland gomphothere (Cuvieronius tropicalis), two species of giant ground sloth (the Shasta ground sloth Nothrotheriops shastensis and a previously unknown member of the Megalonychidae), and the sabertooth cat (Smilodon fatalis). Modern species, include taxa that are now extralimital such as bobcat, (Lynx rufus) and coyote, (Canis latrans), as well as Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) and the collared peccary (Tayassu peccari). Short-faced bears (Tremarctinae) also occur in the assemblage and may represent a new variation of this South American lineage. Based on the faunal composition there are elements representing both the Neotropical (large "Xenarthrans" and gomphotheres) and Nearctic (carnivores, perisodactyls, artiodactyls, lagomorphs) affinities, and probably some endemic animals, like the magalonychid ground sloth and the tremarctine bear, which warrant further studies. The presence of bobcat and coyote, as well as the easternmost occurrence of the Shasta ground sloth indicate a drier, cooler habitat during the terminal Pleistocene, which is supported by findings in dry caves in the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Cite this Record

The Late Pleistocene Fauna of Hoyo Negro. Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales, James C. Chatters, Blaine W. Schubert, H. Gregory McDonald, Pilar Luna. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396535)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;