MR1, Moturakau rock shelter (Holocene of Cook Islands)

Where: Cook Islands (18.9° S, 159.7° W: paleocoordinates 18.9° S, 159.8° W)

• coordinate estimated from map

• outcrop-level geographic resolution

When: Holocene (0.0 - 0.0 Ma)

• A total of 16 m2 of sediment, up to 1.8 m deep, has been excavated at Moturakau, revealing a stratified sequence of sandy layers that vary in organic content, weathered volcanic component, and density of cultural objects. The artifact assemblage features an excellent series of shell fishhooks (Allen 1991). The 1987 excavations at Moturakau Rockshelter yielded 14C dates on charcoal of 540 ± 70 yr B.P. from layer V, and 840 ± 80 yr B.P. from layer XIII, near the base of the shelter (Allen and Schubel 1990). Because the stratigraphy and chronology of the 1989 excavations at Moturakau do not correlate readily with those of 1987 (M. S. Allen, pers. comm.), I have not tabulated the bird bones from Moturakau stratigraphically.

• group of beds-level stratigraphic resolution

Environment/lithology: terrestrial; unlithified sandstone

Size class: macrofossils

Collected in 1989

Collection methods: quarrying

Primary reference: D. W. Steadman. 1991. Extinct and extirpated birds from Aitutaki and Atiu, southern Cook Islands. Pacific Science 45:325-347 [M. Clapham/M. Clapham]more details

Purpose of describing collection: archaeological analysis

PaleoDB collection 193453: authorized by Matthew Clapham, entered by Matthew Clapham on 17.05.2018

Creative Commons license: CC BY (attribution)

Taxonomic list

 Charadriiformes - Laridae
Anous minutus Boie 1844 black noddy
Anous stolidus Linnaeus 1758 brown noddy
Gygis alba Sparman 1786 white tern
 Charadriiformes - Scolopacidae
Numenius tahitiensis Gmelin 1789 bristle-thighed curlew
 Galliformes - Phasianidae
Gallus gallus Linnaeus 1758 chicken
 Cuculiformes - Cuculidae
"Eudynamis taitensis" = Urodynamis taitensis
"Eudynamis taitensis" = Urodynamis taitensis Sparrman 1787 long-tailed koel
 Gruiformes - Rallidae
"Porzana tabuensis" = Zapornia tabuensis
"Porzana tabuensis" = Zapornia tabuensis Gmelin 1789 spotless crake
 Procellariiformes - Procellariidae
"Pterodroma rostrata" = Pseudobulweria rostrata
"Pterodroma rostrata" = Pseudobulweria rostrata Peale 1848 Tahiti petrel
 Pelecaniformes - Ardeidae
Egretta sacra Gmelin 1789 Pacific reef-heron
 Suliformes - Fregatidae
Fregata ariel Gray 1845 lesser frigatebird
Fregata minor Gmelin 1789 great frigatebird