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A survey of the archeological and paleontological literature allowed a compilation of Holocene records of mammals in Nebraska. This survey identified Holocene records from 338 sites in 62 of the 93 Nebraska counties. These counties were located throughout state, but there was a concentration of sites in southwestern Nebraska where there were 27 fossil sites in Frontier County and 22 in Harlan County. Fossils sites were underrepresented in the Sand Hills region. Records of fossil mammals covered the entire Holocene period from 13,000 years ago until AD 1850. A minimum of 57 species (with eight additional species potentially present) representing six orders of mammals were represented in the compilation—four species of Lagomorpha, four species of Soricomorpha, 17 species of Carnivora (with three additional species potentially present), one species of Perissodactyla, six species of Artiodactyla, and 25 species of Rodentia (with five additional species potentially present). The remains of bison were found at 276 sites, which was more than for any other species in the state. Additional species that formed the main portion of the diet of Native Americans were the next most abundant in the fossil record—deer, pronghorn, and wapiti. That these food species dominated in the Holocene record was to be expected because fossils were recovered primarily from archeological sites.


ISBN 978-1-60962-194-0

Publication Date



Zea Books


Lincoln, NE


fossil mammals, Nebraska, Holocene


Animal Sciences | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Other Animal Sciences | Paleobiology | Paleontology | Zoology


Copyright © 2021 Hugh H. Genoways. All rights reserved.

Holocene Records of Nebraska Mammals