Abstract

Even a cursory survey of museum collections will reveal the preservation potential of many elements of the postcranial skeleton to be higher than that of intact dental series or nearly complete skulls. Recognition of morphologic characters which would permit these elements to be assigned to particular genera (or species) would facilitate correlation and zonation of many fossil-bearing sequences. The proportions of the metapodials of the Neogene camels Aepycamelus, Hemiauchenia, Alforjas, Camelops, Procamelus, Megatylopus and Titanotylopus are sufficiently different from one another to permit cannon bones not associated with cranial and dental material to be referred to particular genera with some certainty. Furthermore, the range zones and concurrent-range zones of these genera can be used to partition the late Barstovian through Blancan interval. High preservation potential and distinctive morphology make the cannon bones of these camels useful biostratigraphic indicators.--Modified journal abstract.

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