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Collection of radiocarbon dates on the mammoths (Mammuthus Primigenius) and other genera of Wrangel Island, northeast Siberia, Russia

  • Sergey L. Vartanyan (a1), Khikmat A. Arslanov (a2), Juha A. Karhu (a3), Göran Possnert (a4) and Leopold D. Sulerzhitsky (a5)...
Abstract

We present and discuss a full list of radiocarbon dates for woolly mammoth and other species of the Mammoth fauna available from Wrangel Island, northeast Siberia, Russia. Most of the radiocarbon dates are published here for the first time. Of the124 radiocarbon dates on mammoth bone, 106 fall between 3700 and 9000 yr ago. We believe these dates bracket the period of mammoth isolation on Wrangel Island and their ultimate extinction, which we attribute to natural causes. The absence of dates between 9–12 ka probably indicates a period when mammoths were absent from Wrangel Island. Long bone dimensions of Holocene mammoths from Wrangel Island indicate that these animals were comparable in size to those on the mainland; although they were not large animals, neither can they be classified as dwarfs. Occurrence of mammoth Holocene refugia on the mainland is suggested. Based on other species of the Mammoth fauna that have also been radiocarbon on Wrangel Island, including horse, bison, musk ox and woolly rhinoceros, it appears that the mammoth was the only species of that fauna that inhabited Wrangel Island in the mid-Holocene.

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*Corresponding author. E-mail address: sergey-vartanyan@mail.ru (S.L. Vartanyan).
References
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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
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