Here we report a right dentary of Peter's ghost-faced bat Mormoops megalophylla from an archeological site in northern Matanzas province, western Cuba. The specimen was excavated from a pre-Columbian archeological cave deposit in association with stone tools, bivalve shells, snake and fish vertebrae, and capromyid (rodent) postcranial elements. Although the deposit is not directly dated, the relationship of the assemblage to the time of Amerindian occupation in this cave suggests an age between 1600 and 850 years BP Therefore, this report may constitute a probable ‘last occurrence’ date for M. megalophylla in Cuba. This bat is believed to have gone extirpated in the West Indies because of a combination of habitat-area loss due to climatic turnover during the late Pleistocene and human disturbance later in the Holocene. Based on new evidence, we add that climate-related bat extirpations could lag for several thousands of years after the onset of new environmental conditions, and that these can be easily accelerated by anthropogenic disturbance. This information can help improve the understanding of chiropteran diversity, causes, and timing of extirpations in Cuba and the West Indies.
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Vol. 14 • No. 1