Fauna

Thousands of bone fragments have been recovered from prehistoric sites in the Gunnison Basin.  It appears that animals were intensively processed; bone was commonly crushed.   Bison were apparently important from about 8000 BP to 5500 BP and after about 3000 BP.   All fauna associated with Early and Middle Period houses are large mammals.   Smaller mammal remains are found more frequently in houses dating to later periods.

Types of animal bone identified in prehistoric archaeological deposits in the Upper Gunnison Basin, are as follows: 

  • Indeterminate bone
  • Indeterminate mammal
  • Indeterminate mammal, large
  • Indeterminate mammal, medium
  • Indeterminate mammal, small
  • Artiodactyla
    • Bison bison
    • Cervus canadensis
  • Deer/sheep/pronghorn
    • Ovis canadensis
    • Odocoileus hemionus
    • Antilocapra americanus
  • Canidae
    • Canis sp.
    • Ursus sp.
  • Small carnivore
    • Taxidea taxus
    • Lepus sp.
    • Sylvilagus sp.
  • Rodent
    • Sciuridae sp.
    • Eutamias sp.
    • Marmota sp.
    • Spermophilus sp.
    • Cynomys sp.
    • Thomomys sp.
    • Castor sp.
    • Peromyscus sp.
    • Neotoma sp.
    • Microtus sp.
  • Bird
    • Indeterminate
    • Anas sp.
    • Ardea herodias
    • Grouse
    • Dendragus obscurus
    • Falco sp.
    • Pica pica
  • Fish
  • Frog (Rana sp.?)
  •  

Tenderfoot bone identifications have been made by Ronald J. Rood, Assistant Utah State Archaeologist.