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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)...

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.

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*Corresponding author. Fax: (734) 936-1380.E-mail address: (D.C. Fisher).
1This and the following authors are listed alphabetically.
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