Fossil Occurrences of Cercartetus nanus (Marsupialia: Burramyidae) in South Australia

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Abstract:

This study documents the known prehistoric distribution of the eastern pygmy-possum Cercartetus nanus in South Australia. This is based on 10 caves (Bat Cave, Cathedral Cave, Comaum Forest Cave, Haystall Cave, Henschke Fossil Cave, Kilsbys Hole, Robertson Cave, Sleeping Cave, Victoria Fossil Cave, and Wet Cave) and one rockshelter deposit (Narcurrer Shelter) all from the south-east of South Australia. Comparison of prehistoric and modern distribution records for C. nanus suggest a recent northward range contraction. The oldest fossil C. nanus are from Cathedral Cave where dates as old as 279,000 years have been established. The bone assemblages were reported to be the result of natural pitfall death-traps or from predatory species such as owls and mammalian carnivores depositing prey remains in caves.

Keywords: BURRAMYIDAE; CAVES; CERCARTETUS NANUS; FOSSIL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • In 2004, the South Australian Museum and the Royal Society of South Australia became partners in Southern Scientific Press. This led to the amalgamation of their two professional journals. The Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia now incorporates the Records of the South Australian Museum.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia deals with natural history relating to South Australia
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