Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Late Pleistocene mammoth remains from Coastal Maine, USA

  • B. Gary Hoyle (a1), Daniel C. Fisher (a1), Harold W. Borns (a1), Lisa L. Churchill-Dickson (a2), Christopher C. Dorion (a3) and Thomas K. Weddle (a4)...
Abstract

Remains identified as those of a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) dated at 12,200 ± 55 14C yr B.P. were recovered while excavating in a complex sequence of glaciomarine sediments in Scarborough, Maine, USA. The mammoth was found in the top meter of a fossiliferous unit of mud and sand laminites. These sediments were deposited during a marine regressive phase following the transgression that accompanied northward retreat of the margin of the Laurentide ice sheet. A Portlandia arctica valve from the underlying transgressive unit provides a minimum age of 14,820 ± 105 14C yr B.P. for local deglaciation. The mammoth, an adult female, died in midwinter with no evidence of human involvement. Tusk growth rates and oxygen-isotope variation over the last few years of life record low seasonality. The mammoth was transported to the site as a partial carcass by the late-glacial proto-Saco River. It sank in a near-shore setting, was subjected to additional disarticulation and scattering of elements, and was finally buried in sediments reworked by the shallowing sea.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Fax: (734) 936-1380.E-mail address: dcfisher@umich.edu (D.C. Fisher).
1This and the following authors are listed alphabetically.
References
Hide All
Abbott, R.T, (1991). Seashells of the Northern Hemisphere. Gallery Books, New York.
Abbott, R.T, Boss, K.J, (1989). A Classification of the Living Mollusca. American Malacologists, Melbourne, FL.
Agenbroad, L.D, Lister, A, Mol, D, Roth, V.L, (1994). Mammuthus primigenius remains from the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota. Agenbroad, L.D, Mead, J.I, The Hot Springs Mammoth Site. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Hot Springs, SD., 269281.
Alstair, G, (1988). Molluscs: Prosobranch and Pyramidellid Gastropods. Synopses of the British Faunas, The Linnaean Society of London and The Estuarine and Brackish-Water Sciences Association. E.J. Brill, Leiden.
Anderson, R.S, Miller, N.G, Davis, R.B, Nelson, R.E, (1990). Terrestrial fossils in the marine Presumpscot Formation: implications for late Wisconsinan paleoenvironments and isostatic rebound along the coast of Maine. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 27, 12411246.
Averianov, A.O, (1996). Sexual dimorphism in the mammoth skull, teeth, and long bones. Shoshani, J, Tassy, P, The Proboscidea: Evolution and Paleoecology of Elephants and Their Relatives. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford., 260267.
Barnhardt, W.A., (1994). ). Late Quaternary relative sea-level change and evolution of the Maine inner continental shelf 12.7 ka B.P. University of Maine, Orono., . [Ph.D. thesis].
Barnhardt, W.A, Belknap, D.F, Kelley, J.T, (1997). Stratigraphic evolution of the inner continental shelf in response to late Quaternary relative sea-level change, northwestern Gulf of Maine. Geological Society of America Bulletin. 109, 612630.
Bloom, A.L, (1963). Late Pleistocene fluctuations of sea level and postglacial crustal rebound in coastal Maine. American Journal of Science. 261, 862879.
Bondevik, S, Birks, H.H, Gulliksen, S, Mangerud, J, (1999). Late Weichselian marine 14C reservoir ages at the western coast of Norway. Quaternary Research. 52, 104114.
Bousfield, E.L, (1960). Canadian Atlantic Sea Shells. Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, National Museum of Canada, Ottawa.
Brouwers, E.M, Cronin, T.M, Horne, D.J, Lord, A.R, (2000). Recent shallow marine ostracods from high latitudes: implications for late Pliocene and Quaternary paleoclimatology. Boreas. 29, 127143.
Caldwell, D.W, (1992). A mammoth find in the Presumpscot Formation in Scarboro, Maine. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs. 24, 3 10.
Clinch, J.M., Thompson, W.B., (1990). ). Surficial geology of the Prouts Neck quadrangle, Cumberland and York counties, Maine. Open-File No. 90-32, 2 maps (scale 1:24,000). Maine Geological Survey, Augusta.
Cooke, H.B.S, Harington, C.R, Sollows, J.D, (1993). Undescribed mammoth (Mammuthus) teeth from Georges Bank and Nova Scotia. Proceedings of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science. 40, 1928.
Dorion, C.C, Balco, G.A, Kaplan, M.R, Kreutz, K.J, Wright, J.D, Borns, H.W Jr., (2001). Stratigraphy, paleo-oceanography, chronology and environment during deglaciation of eastern Maine. Weddle, T.K, Retelle, M.J, Deglacial History and Relative Sea-Level Changes, Northern New England and Adjacent Canada. vol. 351, Geological Society of America Special Paper, Boulder, CO., 215242.
Elder, W.H, (1970). Morphometry of elephant tusks. Zoologica Africana. 5, 143159.
Fisher, D.C, (1987). Mastodont procurement by Paleoindians of the Great Lakes Region: hunting or scavenging?. Nitecki, M.H, Nitecki, D.V, The Evolution of Human Hunting. Plenum, New York., 309421.
Fisher, D.C, (1988). Season of death of the Hiscock mastodonts. Laub, R.S, Miller, N.G, Steadman, D.W, Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Paleoecology and Archeology of the Eastern Great Lakes Region. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. vol. 33, 115125.
Fisher, D.C, (1996). Extinction of proboscideans in North America. Shoshani, J, Tassy, P, The Proboscidea: Evolution and Palaeoecology of Elephants and Their Relatives. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford., 296315.
Fisher, D.C, (2001). Season of death, growth rates, and life history of North American Mammoths. West, D, Mammoth Site Studies. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Mammoth Site Studies, Lawrence, KS, March 11–13, 1998. Publications in Anthropology. vol. 22, 121135.
Fisher, D.C, Fox, D.L, Agenbroad, L.D, (2003). Tusk growth rate and season of death of Mammuthus columbi from Hot Springs, South Dakota, USA. Reumer, J.W.F, De Vos, J, Mol, D, Advances in Mammoth Research. Proceedings of the Second International Mammoth Conference, Rotterdam, May 16–20, 1999. Deinsea. vol. 9, 117133.
Fox, D.L, Fisher, D.C, (2001). Stable isotope ecology of a Late Miocene population of Gomphotherium productus (Mammalia, Proboscidea) from Port of Entry Pit, Oklahoma, USA. Palaios. 16, 279293.
Fricke, H.C, O'Neil, J.R, (1996). Inter- and intra-tooth variation in the oxygen isotope composition of mammalian tooth enamel phosphate: implications for paleoclimatological and paleobiological research. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 126, 9199.
Fuller, C.B, (1878). A fossil walrus discovered in the clays of Portland, Maine. American Naturalist. 12, 633.
Graham, R.W, (1986). Descriptions of the dentitions and stylohyoids of Mammuthus columbi from the Colby site. Frison, G.C, Todd, L.C, The Colby Mammoth Site. Univ. of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque., 171190.
Hald, M, Steinsund, P.I, Dokken, T, Korsun, S, Polyak, L, Aspeli, R, (1994). Recent and late Quaternary distribution of Elphidium excavatum f. clavatum in arctic seas. Sejrup, H.P, Knudsen, K.L, Late Cenozoic Benthic Foraminifera: Taxonomy, Ecology, and Stratigraphy. Special Publication. vol. 32, Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Cambridge, MA., 141153.
Harington, C.R, Ashworth, A.C, (1986). A mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) tooth from late Wisconsin deposits near Embden, North Dakota, and comments on the distribution of woolly mammoths south of the Wisconsin ice sheets. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 23, 909918.
Haynes, G, (1991). Mammoths, Mastodonts, and Elephants. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.
Hoyle, B.G, (1998). Late Pleistocene Mammuthus primigenius from coastal Maine. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs. 30, 1 26.
Kelley, J.T, Dickson, S.M, Belknap, D.F, Stuckenrath, R Jr., (1992). Sea-level change and late Quaternary sediment accumulation on the southern Maine inner continental shelf. Fletcher, C.H III, Wehmiller, J.F, Quaternary Coasts of the United States: Marine and Lacustrine Systems. Special Publication. vol. 48, Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa., 2334.
Koch, P.L., (1989). ). Paleobiology of late Pleistocene mastodonts and mammoths from southern Michigan and western New York. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor., . [Ph.D. thesis].
Koch, P.L, (1998). Isotopic reconstruction of past continental environments. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. 26, 573613.
Koch, P.L, Fisher, D.C, Dettman, D.L, (1989). Oxygen isotope variation in the tusks of extinct proboscideans: a measure of season of death and seasonality. Geology. 17, 515519.
Koch, P.L, Hoppe, K.A, Webb, S.D, (1998). The isotopic ecology of late Pleistocene mammals in North America. Part 1. Florida. Chemical Geology. 152, 119138.
Laws, R.M, (1966). Age criteria for the African elephant, Loxodonta a. africana . East African Wildlife Journal. 4, 137.
Lee-Thorp, J.A, van der Merwe, N.J, (1987). Carbon isotope analysis of fossil bone apatite. South African Journal of Science. 83, 712714.
Lister, A.M, (1996). Sexual dimorphism in the mammoth pelvis: an aid to gender determination. Shoshani, J, Tassy, P, The Proboscidea: Evolution and Paleoecology of Elephants and Their Relatives. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford., 254259.
MacFadden, B.J, Cerling, T.E, Prado, J, (1996). Cenozoic terrestrial ecosystem evolution in Argentina: evidence from carbon isotopes of fossil mammal teeth. Palaios. 11, 319327.
Madden, C.T., (1981). ). Mammoths of North America. University of Colorado, Boulder., . [Ph.D. thesis].
Maglio, V.J, (1973). Origin and evolution of the Elephantidae. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series. 63, 1149.
Musil, R, (1968). Die Mammutmolaren von Predmosti. Paläontologische Abhandlungen, Abteilung A [Paläozoologie]. 3, 1192.
Ockelmann, W.K, (1958). The Zoology of East Greenland: Marine Lamellibranchiata. C.A. Reitzels Forlag, Copenhagen.
Oldale, R.N, (1989). Timing and mechanism for the deposition of the glaciomarine mud in and around the Gulf of Maine: a discussion of alternative models. Studies in Maine Geology. 5, 110.
Oldale, R.N, Whitmore, F.C Jr., Grimes, J.R, (1987). Elephant teeth from the western Gulf of Maine and their implications. National Geographic Research. 3, 439446.
O'Neil, J.R, Roe, L.J, Reinhard, E, Blake, R.E, (1994). A rapid and precise method of oxygen isotope analysis of biogenic phosphate. Israel Journal of Earth Science. 43, 203212.
Retelle, M.J., (1991). ). Surficial geology of the Old Orchard Beach quadrangle, Cumberland and York Counties, Maine. Open-File No. 91-4, 2 maps (scale 1:24,000). Maine Geological Survey, Augusta.
Retelle, M.J, Weddle, T.K, (2001). Deglaciation and relative sea-level chronology, Casco Bay Lowland and lower Androscoggin River valley, Maine. Weddle, T.K, Retelle, M.J, Deglacial History and Relative Sea-Level Changes, Northern New England and Adjacent Canada. vol. 351, Geological Society of America Special Paper, Boulder, CO., 191214.
Richards, H.G, (1962). Studies on the marine Pleistocene. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series. 52, 3 1136.
Ridge, J.C, Canwell, B.A, Kelly, M.A, Kelley, S.Z, (2001). Atmospheric 14C chronology for late Wisconsinan deglaciation and sea-level change in eastern New England using varve and paleomagnetic records. Weddle, T.C, Retelle, M.J, Deglacial History and Relative Sea-Level Changes, Northern New England and Adjacent Canada. vol. 351, Geological Society of America Special Paper, Boulder, CO., 171189.
Saunders, J.J., (1970). ). The distribution and taxonomy of Mammuthus in Arizona. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson., . [M.S. thesis].
Schäfer, W, (1972). Ecology and Palaeoecology of Marine Environments. Craig, G.Y,Oertel, I. Trans.. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Stafford, T.W Jr., Hare, P.E, Curie, L, Jull, A.J.T, Donahue, D.J, (1991). Accelerator radiocarbon dating at the molecular level. Journal of Archaeological Science. 18, 3572.
Stuart-Williams, H.LeQ, Schwarz, H.P, (1997). Oxygen isotopic determination of climatic variation using phosphate from beaver bone, tooth enamel, and dentine. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 61, 25392550.
Stuiver, M, Borns, H.W Jr., (1975). Late Quaternary marine invasion in Maine: its chronology and associated crustal movements. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 86, 99104.
Tebble, N, (1966). British Bivalve Seashells. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). Alden Press, Oxford.
Thompson, W.B, Crossen, K.J, Borns, H.W Jr., Anderson, B.G, (1989). Glaciomarine deltas of Maine and their relation to late Pleistocene–Holocene crustal movements. Anderson, W.A, Borns, H.W Jr., Neotectonics of Maine—Studies in Seismicity, Crustal Warping, and Sea-Level Change. Maine Geological Survey, Augusta., 4367.
Van Essen, H, Mol, D, (1996). Plio-Pleistocene proboscideans from the southern bight of the North Sea and the Eastern Scheldt, The Netherlands. Shoshani, J, Tassy, P, The Proboscidea: Evolution and Paleoecology of Elephants and Their Relatives. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford., 214224.
Vereschagin, N.K, (1977). Berelyohskoye “kladbische” mamontov. Skarlato, A.O, Mamontovaya Fauna Russkoi Ravnini i Vostochoi Sibiri. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta. vol. 72, 550.
Wagner, F.J.E, (1984). Illustrated Catalogue of the Mollusca (Gastropoda and Bivalvia) in the Atlantic Geoscience Centre Index Collection. Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa.
Webb, S.D, (1992). A brief history of New World Proboscidea with emphasis on their adaptations and interactions with man. Fox, J.W, Smith, C.B, Wilkins, K.T, Proboscidean and Paleoindian Interactions. Baylor Univ. Press, Waco, TX., 1534.
Weddle, T.K., (1997). ). Surficial geology of the Lisbon Falls South 7.5′ quadrangle, Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties, Maine. Open-File No. 97-49, 2 maps (scale 1:24,000). Maine Geological Survey, Augusta.
Whitmore, F.C Jr., Emery, K.O, Cooke, H.B.S, Swift, D.J.P, (1967). Elephant teeth from the Atlantic Continental Shelf. Science. 156, 14771481.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed