Molecular identification of the extinct mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni (Bovidae)

Paula F. Campos, Eske Willerslev, Jim I. Mead, Michael Hofreiter, M. Thomas P. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Harrington's mountain goat (Oreamnos harringtoni), an extinct North American herbivore, is one of the least known mammals of the Pleistocene. Fossil specimens are predominantly known from dry cave localities throughout the arid American west - the Grand Canyon, Colorado Plateau, Nevada and Mexico. Morphological analysis of the recovered fossils suggests a close phylogenetic relationship between Harrington's mountain goat and the extant mountain goats from the American northwest (Oreamnos americanus). However, the degree of genetic similarity between the two species, and their overall placement within the Caprinae, is not clear. In this study, we recovered and sequenced the first DNA fragments from O. harringtoni in order to investigate these relationships. Genetic analysis further supports the morphological hypothesis that O. harringtoni and O. americanus are two distinct species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • DNA
  • DIET
  • DUNG
  • UTAH

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