Identification of Pleistocene Fauna from McFaddin Beach, Texas



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McFaddin Beach (MB) is an archeological (41JF50) and paleontological locality extending 32 kilometers along the beach of Jefferson County, Texas. The fossils wash up on the beach from an unknown offshore location(s). The locality is well-known for lithics attributed to several Paleoindian groups. Taxa found at McFaddin Beach, such as Bison spp. and Smilodon fatalis, indicate a Rancholabrean fauna of late Pleistocene age. The McFaddin Beach material is held in many private collections throughout Texas because it is a popular site for amateur collectors. In recent years, several important collections were donated to Sam Houston State University. Our goal was to determine a current taxonomic list for McFaddin Beach and to interpret the fauna in the broader context of Texas faunas. A total of 40 taxa were found at McFaddin Beach consisting of 1 crustacean, 4 fish, 7 reptiles, and 28 mammals. Three new taxa (Callinectes sp., Lampropeltis sp., and Homotherium serum) were found at this site that have not been reported on previously. Comparisons of MB with two other nearby Texas sites of similar age, Moore Pit and Ingleside, find that the more coastal locations (MB and Ingleside) are more alike, based on the Sѳrenson’s and Jaccard’s indices, than either is with the more inland locality of Moore Pit. Some taxa, such as Eremotherium and Trichechus, are only recorded at MB but are common in Florida, suggesting a separate Gulf Coast fauna. Comparisons of taxonomic abundances did not reveal any significant differences among the sites.