Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert I. Sundick

Second Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Jack Smith

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The archaeological literature of the Great Lakes region frequently reports the occurrence of faunal and floral remains from the sites under investigation. An analysis of the data indicates that mammal bones greatly outnumber bird bone remains. The hypothesis is suggested that the limited number of identified bird bone remains might be due to the fact that zooarchaeologists are not as familiar with avian bones as they are with mammal bones. For the benefit of zooarchaeologists, bird bone anatomy is reviewed which hopefully will lead to better identification of these remains in the future. The differences between two species of teals and two species of ducks are also studied to further clarifiy the differences between and within the species.

A total of 134 bluewing and greenwing teals, mallard ducks and black ducks were examined to identify intra- and inter-species differences. A number of measurements were identified which could reliably distinguish greenwing teals from bluewing teals. Sex determination could not be done reliably. The mallard ducks could not be distinguished from black ducks illustrating a significant degree of similarity among them and thus bringing into question the taxonomic validity of the species. This is confirmed by reports indicating that hybridization takes place between members of the two species.

A review of ethnographic literature indicates that birds were not heavily utilized in the Great Lakes Region and that when they were utilized, it was for religious and ceremonial purposes, as well as for subsistence.

Included in

Anthropology Commons