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Post-Clovis survival of American Mastodon in the southern Great Lakes Region of North America

Quaternary Research

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DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2009.06.009

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Abstract

The end of the Pleistocene in North America was marked by a wave of extinctions of large mammals, with the last known appearances of many species falling between ca. 11,000-10,000??14C yr BP. Temporally, this period overlaps with the Clovis Paleoindian cultural complex (11,190-10,530??14C yr BP) and with sudden climatic changes that define the beginning of the Younger Dryas chronozone (ca. 11,000-10,000??14C yr BP), both of which have been considered as potential proximal causes of this extinction event. Radiocarbon dating of enamel and filtered bone collagen from an extinct American Mastodon (Mammut americanum) from northern Indiana, USA, by accelerator mass spectrometer yielded direct dates of 10,055 ?? 40??14C yr BP and 10,032 ?? 40??14C yr BP, indicating that the animal survived beyond the Clovis time period and into the late Younger Dryas. Although the late survival of this species in mid-continental North America does not remove either humans or climatic change as contributing causes for the late Pleistocene extinctions, neither Clovis hunters nor the climatic perturbations initiating the Younger Dryas chronozone were immediately responsible for driving mastodons to extinction. ?? 2009 University of Washington.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Post-Clovis survival of American Mastodon in the southern Great Lakes Region of North America
Series title:
Quaternary Research
DOI:
10.1016/j.yqres.2009.06.009
Volume
72
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Quaternary Research
First page:
359
Last page:
363
Number of Pages:
5