Chris Widga

Chris Widga
East Tennessee State University | ETSU · Department of Geosciences

University of Kansas

About

84
Publications
31,236
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806
Citations
Citations since 2017
49 Research Items
616 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140

Publications

Publications (84)
Preprint
Full-text available
We evaluated subtle-to-incipient pathology traits in coxofemoral joints from dry bone museum specimens of: Vulpes lagopus; Vulpes; Nyctereutes procyonoides; Urocyon cinereoargenteus; Canis lupus familiaris; and Canis latrans. Multiple intra-articular structures were evaluated on acetabula and proximal femora. Primary observations included multifoca...
Article
As the dominant large herbivore in midcontinent North America since the terminal Pleistocene, bison (Bison spp.) have been a fundamental component of ecosystems and economies. Despite the importance of bison in late Quaternary North America, large-scale (regional to continental) patterns of bison biogeography are not well understood. Here we integr...
Article
Full-text available
We continued direct morphological studies of the canid coxofemoral joint, considering early‐life spatial relationships around the locus of the proximocaudal joint capsule insertion. Our primary goal was to elucidate the post‐natal developmental gross anatomy of the proximocaudal femur, in juveniles across Canidae. From an original database of 267 i...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated coxofemoral joints from museum specimens of: Vulpes lagopus; Vulpes vulpes; Vulpes velox; Nyctereutes procyonoides; Urocyon cinereoargenteus; Aenocyon [Canis] dirus; Canis latrans; Canis lupus lupus; Canis lupus familiaris; C. l. familiaris x latrans; and Canis dingo. Acetabular components included: fossa; articular surface; medial and...
Preprint
Full-text available
The first human groups in southeastern North America would have faced a very different landscape than we see today. Although glaciers were receding, and even at the furthest southern extent were located far to the north, late Pleistocene climate changes had a significant effect on vegetation and faunal communities in the southeastern US. This chapt...
Article
Aim Identifying how climate change, habitat loss, and corridors interact to influence species survival or extinction is critical to understanding macro‐scale biodiversity dynamics under changing environments. In North America, the ice‐free corridor was the only major pathway for northward migration by megafaunal species during the last deglaciation...
Article
Full-text available
Stable isotopes of mammoths and mastodons have the potential to illuminate ecological changes in late Pleistocene landscapes and megafaunal populations as these species approached extinction. The ecological factors at play in this extinction remain unresolved, but isotopes of bone collagen (δ ¹³ C, δ ¹⁵ N) and tooth enamel (δ ¹³ C, δ ¹⁸ O, ⁸⁷ Sr/ ⁸...
Article
Full-text available
Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles are correlated with dramatic temperature oscillations. Examining how species responded to these natural fluctuations can provide valuable insights into the impacts of present-day anthropogenic climate change. Here we present a phylogeographic study of the extinct American mastodon (Mammut americanum), based o...
Article
Full-text available
Fragments of a charred wooden bowl were recovered from Aztalan during excavations by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) in 1964. Recent advances in analytical methods facilitated a multidimensional study of these fragments. Radiocarbon-dated to cal AD 994–1154 and found in association with Late Woodland, Mississippian, and hybrid form...
Data
Large database of bison morphometric data to supplement Widga 2013, 2014, and partial data for Hill et al., 2008.
Presentation
A proposal to study subtle variations in early Homo species in the posterior region of the zygomatic arch.
Article
Full-text available
Studies of the ancient history of infectious diseases have been facilitated greatly by development of a succession of novel analytical methods. In particular, laboratory analytical methods that are based on high‐throughput ancient DNA sequencing have received considerable attention in this respect. Even so, significant environmental caveats remain....
Preprint
Full-text available
Stable isotopes of mammoths and mastodons have the potential to illuminate patterns in late Glacial landscapes and megafaunal population dynamics as these species approached extinction. The ecological factors at play in this extinction remain unresolved. Stable isotopes of bone collagen (δ13C, δ15N) and tooth enamel carbonate (δ13C, δ18O, 87Sr/86Sr...
Article
Full-text available
Waco Mammoth National Monument (WMNM) is a central Texas, Late Pleistocene fossil site dating to ~67 ka. At least 23 Columbian mammoths (Mammuthus columbi), along with the remains of 12 other vertebrate genera have been discovered at this locality. Mammoth teeth were micro-sampled at a high resolution with a computerized micromill, whereas bison an...
Article
The Great American Biotic Interchange is considered to be a punctuated process, primarily occurring during four major pulses that began approximately 2.5 Ma. Central America and southeastern Mexico have a poor fossil record of this dynamic faunal history due to tropical climates. Exploration of submerged caves in the Yucatán, particularly the natur...
Poster
Workflow outline of the use of raw geospatial data along with field notes to create a digital 2D representation of an in situ mastodon.
Article
Full-text available
The domestication of dogs likely occurred in Eurasia by 16,000 years ago, and the initial peopling of the Americas potentially happened around the same time. Dogs were long thought to have accompanied the first migrations into the Americas, but conclusive evidence for Paleoindian dogs is lacking. In this study, the direct dating of two dogs from th...
Poster
Full-text available
The extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) ranged from Alaska to the Northeastern Seaboard throughout the Late Pleistocene (100-10 Ka). Although it is recognized that woolly mammoths coincided with and lived in a region heavily influenced by glacial ice sheets, little is known about their behavior with respect to activities like migration a...
Article
Full-text available
Lineage losses for man's best friend Dogs have been present in North America for at least 9000 years. To better understand how present-day breeds and populations reflect their introduction to the New World, Ní Leathlobhair et al. sequenced the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of ancient dogs (see the Perspective by Goodman and Karlsson). The earli...
Preprint
Full-text available
The domestication of dogs probably occurred in Eurasia by 16,000 years ago, with the initial peopling of the Americas potentially happening around the same time. Dogs were long thought to have accompanied the first migrations into the Americas, but conclusive evidence for Paleoindian dogs is lacking. The direct dating of two dogs from the Koster si...
Poster
Full-text available
Seasonal-scale isotopic studies of proboscidean tooth enamel are complicated by long periods of tooth formation, with enamel mineralization occurring over a decade in adult molars of modern taxa (Dirks et al. 2012; Uno et al., 2013). Various methods have been proposed to accommodate this complexity (Hoppe and Koch, 2006; Metcalfe et al., 2011); how...
Article
Full-text available
Near the end of the Pleistocene epoch, populations of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) were distributed across parts of three continents, from western Europe and northern Asia through Beringia to the Atlantic seaboard of North America. Nonetheless, questions about the connectivity and temporal continuity of mammoth populations and species...
Article
Full-text available
The morphology of mammoth upper third permanent molars (M3) is used to address regional-and continental-scale patterns in the structure of mammoth populations. Recent refinements to the understanding of Mammuthus phylogenetic diversity south of the Laurentide ice show extensive overlap between regional populations. We assess the underlying geograph...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding megafaunal population dynamics is critical to testing and refining scenarios of how extinctions occurred during the terminal Pleistocene. Large-scale, collections-based, chronological and taphonomic analyses of midwestern Proboscidea suggest divergent population histories in mammoths and mastodons after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)....
Article
Coxofemoral joint pathology was evaluated in a minimum of 17 Canis dirus individuals, including 23 ace-tabula and 23 proximal femora. The specimens are curated at the Page Museum, Rancho La Brea, CA USA. We selected specimens for the appearance of subtle pathology because our observation plan was limited to establishing whether features of coxofemo...
Article
Full-text available
Strontium (Sr) isotope tracers are useful for understanding provenance and mobility in biological materials across multiple disciplines. However, the impact of these techniques is highly dependent on the construction of appropriate comparative baselines (i.e., an isoscape). We present the results of a systematic survey of 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values from g...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Comprehensive taphonomic research, including stable isotope analyses and AMS dating, on the flat-headed peccary (Platygonus compressus) (NISP = ~4500, MNI = 61) and dire wolf (Canis dirus) (NISP = 14, MNI = 3) remains from Peccary Cave, Arkansas, provide insight on the paleoecology and extinction of these taxa. The assemblages are time-averaged acc...
Article
We examined scapula glenoids (n=14) and proximal articular humeri (n=14) of seven grey wolves that were maintained in a sanctuary park setting. Immediately after death, observations were made visually in situ and by radiography. Further observations were made in a museum laboratory setting, prior to and following clearing of soft tissues. Selected...
Article
Full-text available
After evolving in Africa at the close of the Miocene, mammoths (Mammuthus sp.) spread through much of the northern hemisphere, diversifying morphologically as they entered various habitats. Paleontologically, these morphs are conventionally recognized as species. In Pleistocene North America alone, several mammoth species have been recognized, inha...
Conference Paper
The timing of terminal Pleistocene extinctions in North America is key to establishing the likelihood of different--often highly debated--extinction scenarios. Adequate chronologies are important for assessing the contemporaneity of events, as well as determining whether the loss of megafaunal taxa was synchronous or time-transgressive. We use a ne...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The North American Midcontinent has one of the highest densities of terminal Pleistocene proboscideans on the continent. Although regionally dominated by the American Mastodont (Mammut americanum), three species of mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius, M. columbi and M. jeffersonii) are also sympatric. A recent census of Proboscidea in regional museum c...
Conference Paper
The remains of extinct Ice Age animals along the north shoreline of Lovewell Reservoir in Jewell Co., KS have been professionally investigated for over 40 years. Test excavations and sediment cores at one locality (14JW103) indicate the presence of a paleo-gully inset into the Wisconsin-aged Gilman Canyon Formation. Taxa from this locality include:...
Article
Scapular skeletal remains of six 20 th century dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) were examined. One had been an elderly zoo resident, and five were taken in the wild. The zoo specimen and one wild-caught specimen each revealed an unusual bilateral ossi-fied feature of the scapular glenoid fossa. The roughly triangular feature is visually similar to the a...
Article
Full-text available
We report the excavation and analysis of a Chiroptera-dominated bonebed from Bat Cave, Edmonson County, Kentucky. Paleontological materials recovered in 1999 offered new insight into formation processes of the bonebed. Stratigraphic and geochronological information indicate a long, episodic history of the deposit spanning much of the Holocene. The...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since the 1930s, Bat Cave (Edmonson County, Mammoth Cave, KY,) has drawn the attention of various parties: cave managers, park officials, biologists, and paleontologists. An extensive deposit of bat bones mixed with sediment has been of particular interest. In 1999 a small sample was excavated. Analysis of the excavated remains provides new data ab...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Paleontological remains provide important information about past environments. Prehistorically and historically, Mammoth Cave has been the locus of major hibernacula and roosting sites for multiple species of bats. Several areas in the cave system contain large accumulations of bat guano and bones attributed to Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida br...
Article
Hypertrophic osteopathy (HO) has been reported in numerous mammalian species, but no reports address the range of conditions that can lead to HO, or the implications of those conditions, for archaeological diagnosis.We describe suspected HO from skeletal remains of an ancient large domestic dog recovered in Iowa, USA, at the Cherokee Sewer site. Ca...
Article
Full-text available
North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) frequently visit latrines where they deposit urine, feces, and anal secretions as olfactory signals. River otter scat was collected from latrines to identify prey at the Emiquon Preserve and the Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge located along the Illinois River near Havana and Lewistown in Fulton Count...
Article
Full-text available
Bat guano deposits are common in the Mammoth Cave system (Kentucky, USA). Paleontological remains associated with these deposits are important records of local landscape changes. Recent excavations in the cave suggest that vertebrate remains in most of these deposits are dominated by Chiroptera. Although no extinct fauna were identified, the presen...
Article
Full-text available
Circumstances surrounding the discovery, recovery, and preservation of a small collection of large, “old bones” from Walworth County, Wisconsin, are reviewed. Initially identifi ed as possibly extinct bison and horse, the remains are modern/historic horse. The fi nd illustrates the value of prompt scientifi c attention, as such discoveries have the...
Article
Full-text available
The Itasca Bison site near the prairie-forest border in central Minnesota is important to understanding the cultural and ecological role of bison in the upper Midwest during the middle Holocene. Recent reanalyses of this assemblage support the original interpretation of a taphonomically complex, fluvially modified site. Despite this taphonmic compl...
Data
Full-text available
Abstract: Recent work on the timing of proboscidean tooth enamel formation has led to advances in the use of stable isotopes to understand diet and behavior (Dirks et al 2012, Metcalfe et al 2011). Although these techniques continue to yield excellent insights into the diet and behavior of mastodons and mammoths (e.g., Metcalfe and Longstaffe 2012)...
Data
Recent work on the timing of proboscidean tooth enamel formation has led to advances in the use of stable isotopes to understand diet and behavior (Dirks et al 2012, Metcalfe et al 2011). Although these techniques continue to yield excellent insights into the diet and behavior of mastodons and mammoths (e.g., Metcalfe and Longstaffe 2012), sampling...
Data
Natural history collections and their associated specimen data are under-utilized for ecological baseline reconstruction in conservation biology. These collections have the potential to answer ecological questions in ways that cannot be addressed through historical or archival sources. We present the results of research on paleontological, archaeol...
Article
Full-text available
The Nye site, discovered in 1934 and introduced to the scientifi c community in 1935, offers a sidelong view of how a post-Folsom Early Man investigation played out beyond the Great Plains in a mound-centric intellectual context. Here, prominent cultural anthropologist-turned-archaeologist Albert Ernest Jenks at the University of Minnesota almost s...
Article
A proximal humeral articular surface from an ancient domestic dog deliberate burial was examined during survey of small mammal bones from a prehistoric early Late Woodland archaeological site.An unusual lesion on the caudolateral articular surface prompted micro-computed tomography todefine detailed structure. Results indicate cortical or immature...
Article
Full-text available
A scimitar-toothed cat (Homotherium serum) and stag moose (Cervalces sp.) are described from Tyson Spring Cave, Fillmore County, Minnesota. These specimens represent the first records of both species in the state, and the first record for H. serum in the Great Lakes region. Although the Cervalces specimen remains undated, it shares features with pr...
Article
Full-text available
During the Holocene, bison (Bison bison) were key components of the Great Plains landscape. This study utilizes serial stable isotope analyses (tooth enamel carbonate) of 29 individuals from five middle Holocene (∼ 7–8.5 ka) archaeological sites to address seasonal variability in movement patterns and grazing behavior of bison populations in the ea...
Article
Thirteen new chronometric dates for Illinois proboscideans are considered in relation to well-dated pollen records from northeastern and central Illinois. These dates span an interval from 21,228 to 12,944 cal BP. When compared to pollen spectra, it is evident that Mammut americanum inhabited spruce (Picea) and black ash (Fraxinus nigra) forest dur...
Article
Body size changes of Bison and mortality age structure data document the effects of climate-driven environmental change and human hunting pressure on large mammals in North America. Morphometric and mortality data are drawn from 58 archaeological and 9 paleontological localities dating between 37,000 and 250 calBP. Proxy information on body size is...
Article
In 1923, two brothers discovered bison bones eroding out of the south bank of the Platte River in Hall County, Nebraska. These remains were brought to the attention of Frank G. Meserve, a biologist at what was then Grand Island College, who revisited the site the following summer. Meserve recovered two bison skulls, numerous postcranial remains, an...
Article
The Big Bone Lick (Boone County, Kentucky) bison fauna offer a glimpse into the population dynamics and behavioral characteristics of eastern Bison bison during the late Holocene. Examination of the Big Bone Lick dentitions suggests a single kill event that took place during winter or spring. Furthermore, osteometric comparisons of crania and metac...
Article
The Spring Creek site (25FT31) in southwestern Nebraska has been an important part of understanding Early Archaic adaptations to the central Plains since its excavation in 1961. A reanalysis of faunal remains from these excavations suggests that the Spring Creek site is a task-oriented bison processing site occupied for a limited duration in the la...