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Dung and Diet of the Extinct Harrington's Mountain Goat (Oreamnos harringtoni)

Jim I. Mead, Mary Kay O'Rourke, Theresea M. Foppe
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1380881 284-293 First published online: 15 May 1986


Late Pleistocene fossils of the extinct Harrington's mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni, have been analyzed from eight localities in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Unique finds of this species are the remains of hair, muscle and ligament, keratinous horn sheaths, and dung. Large, cuboid to sub-rectangular dung pellets are referable to the adult of the species. Pollen in dung indicates that the mountain goat frequented the caves during early to late spring and possibly portions of late winter and early summer. Plant material in the dung indicated that the major dietary components (33% to 47%) were grasses (Sporobolus, Festuca, Oryzopsis, and Agropyron); conifers (Picea and Pseudotsuga) also were important.

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