Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Over 100 fossil remains of late Pleistocene (Wisconsin)-early Holocene mammals, including one modified by paleoindians into an arrow shaft straightener were recovered from the Feaster sand pit in the southwestern part of Cowley County, Kansas. Taxa identified to species include Procyon lotor (Linnaeus), Mammut americanum (Kerr), Mammuthus columbi (Falconer), Mammuthus jeffersonii (Osborn), Equus scotti (Gidley), Equus conversidens (Owen), Camelops hesternus (Leidy), Antilocapra americana (Ord), and Bison antiquus (Ledy). The Feaster sand pit is thought to be late Pleistocene (Wisconsin) to early Holocene in age due to the high co-occurrence of mammals that are similar to the taxa of known late Pleistocene (Wisconsin)-early Holocene sites. All of the mammals present have stratigraphic ranges that extend to the early Holocene, the only exception is Equus scotti, which does not extend beyond the Wisconsin. The presence of Bison, an index taxon for the Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age, adds additional support for the age of the fauna. The Feaster sand pit contains fossils of seven mammalian families that are consistent with the savanna/wooded steppe environment of the plains during the late Pleistocene (Wisconsin)-early Holocene. Paleoclimatological data suggest a relatively warm, interglacial stage and environmental implications of the taxa suggest that the habitats were in close proximity to the depositional site. These habitats would have included woody areas along a stream or lake for the Procyon, and open grassland, savanna, or wooded steppe niches for the large herbivorous ungulates. The fauna is represented by hypsodont herbivores such as bison, horse, pronghorn, and camel, as well as open woodland browsers and open grass grazers such as the mastodon and mammoth.


Dr. Richard J. Zakrzewski

Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type



© 2011 Miranda L. Lucas


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