Jon Hardes uses UMZM to identify paleoecological remains


Fig. 1. Pictograph Cave (photo courtesy of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks).

With approximately 14,000-15,000 specimens representing at least 20 species and 9,000 years of history, the faunal assemblage of Pictograph Cave outside of Billings, Montana, is vast in size and rich in diversity. Ever since original excavations were undertaken at the site in the late 1930s, this cave has been recognized as an important resource for understanding the prehistory of this region. Research associate Jon Hardes used skeletons in the UMZM for reference in identifying and analyzing the communities of small mammals, carnivores, birds, and herpetiles from this cave.  Jon similarly analyzed the faunal assemblage of Site 5MN5462, a small rockshelter located in Montrose County, Colorado, comprised of 2,355 bones with an array of species including bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) and black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia).