Skip to main content Accessibility help

Skeleton of Extinct North American Sea Mink (Mustela macrodon)

  • Jim I. Mead (a1), Arthur E. Spiess (a2) and Kristin D. Sobolik (a3)

Mustela macrodon (extinct sea mink) is known only from prehistoric and historic Native American shell middens dating less than 5100 years old along coastal islands of the Gulf of Maine, northeastern North America. The species is distinct from all known extant subspecies of M. vison (American mink) but still belongs to the North American subgenus Vison. Metric comparisons between M. macrodon and five subspecies of M. vison, using skull, mandible, humerus, radius, femur, and tibia skeletal elements, show that M. macrodon is larger in overall size and robustness and is proportionately larger in the dental region. Many habitat-related parallels exist between coastal island mink of the Gulf of Maine and those of the Alexander Archipelago, southeastern Alaska, where the overall largest living subspecies of mink is found (M. v. nesolestes).

Hide All
Anderson, E, (1977). Pleistocene Mustelidae (Mammalia, Carnivora) from Fairbanks, Alaska.. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 148, 121.
Anderson, E, (1984). Review of the small carnivores of North American during the last 3.5 million years.. Contributions in Quaternary Vertebrate Paleontology: A Volume in Memorial to John E. Guilday p. 257266.
Belcher, W.R, (1988). Archaeological Investigations at the Knox Site (30-21), East Penobscot Bay, Maine.. University of MaineInstitute for Quaternary Studies, Orono.
Bourque, B.J, (1975). Comments on the late Archaic populations of central Maine: The view from the Turner Farm.. Arctic Anthropology 12, 3545.
Bourque, B.J, (1976). The Turner Farm Site: A preliminary report.. Man in the Northeast 11, 2130.
Bourque, B.J, (1983). The Turner Farm archaeological project.. National Geographic Society Research Reports 15, 5965.
Bourque, B.J, (1987). Prehistory of the Central Maine Coast.. Harvard University, Cambridge.
Bourque, B.J, (1994). Diversity and Complexity in Prehistoric Maritime Societies: A Gulf of Maine Perspective.. Plenum, New York.
Brown, W.C, (1966). Comparative Osteology of Mustela vison Schreber and Martes americana Turton..
Chase, T.H, (1988). Shell Midden Seasonality Using Multiple Faunal Indicators: Applications to the Archaeology of Boothbay, Maine.. University of MaineInstitute for Quaternary Studies, Orono.
Hall, E. R., (1936). . Mustelid mammals from the Pleistocene of North American with systematic notes on some recent members of the genera Mustela, Taxidea, and Mephitis.. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 473, pp. 41119..
Hall, E.R, (1981). The Mammals of North America. Volume 2.. Wiley, New York.
Hardy, M, (1903). The extinct mink from the Maine shell heaps.. Forest and Stream 61, 125.
Hollister, N, (1912). A synopsis of the American minks.. Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum 44, 471480.
Humphrey, S.R, Stezer, H.W, (1989). Geographic variation and taxonomic revision of mink (Mustela vison) in Florida.. Journal of Mammalogy 70, 241252.
Kurtén, B, Anderson, E, (1980). Pleistocene Mammals of North America.. Columbia University Press, New York.
Linscombe, G, Kinler, N, Aulerich, R.J, (1982). Mink.. Chapman, J.A, Feldhamer, G.A, Wild Mammals of North America Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.629643.
Loomis, F.G, (1911). A new mink from the shell heaps of Maine.. American Journal of Science 31, 227229.
Loomis, F.G, Young, D.B, (1912). On the shell heaps of Maine.. American Journal of Science 34, 1742.
Manville, R.H, (1966). The extinct sea mink, with taxonomic notes.. Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum 122, 112.
Miller, G.S, (1912). List of North American land mammals in the United States National Museum.. U.S. National Museum Bulletin 79, 1455.
Prentiss, D.W, (1903). Description of an extinct mink from the shell-heaps of the Maine coast.. Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum 24, 887888.
Sanger, D, (1975). Culture changes as an adaptive process in the Maine-maritime region.. Arctic Anthropology 12, 6075.
Sanger, D, Chase, T., (1983)., An introduction to the archaeology of the Rogue Island group, Maine.. Paper presented to the Canadian Archaeological Association. .
Simpson, G.G, (1941). Large Pleistocene felines of North America.. American Museum Novitates 1136, 127.
Simpson, G.G, Roe, A, Lewontin, R.C, (1960). Quantitative Zoology Harcourt Brace & Co, San Diego.
Sommer, J.D, (1997). Investigation of the Faunal Remains from the Todd Site (17-11) Muscongus Bay, Maine.. University of MaineInstitute for Quaternary Studies, Orono.
Spiess, A. E, Lewis, R., (1994)., The Turner fauna: Five thousand years of hunting and fishing in Penobscot Bay, Maine.. Occasional Publications in Maine Archaeology, The Maine Archaeological Society and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Augusta. .
Spiess, A.E, Bourque, B.J, Cox, S.L, (1983). Cultural complexity in maritime cultures: Evidence from Penobscot Bay, Maine.. Nash, R.J, The Evolution of Maritime Cultures on the Northeast and the Northwest Coasts of America Simon Fraser University Publication 11Department of Archaeology, 91111.
Spiess, A.E, Bourque, B.J, Gramly, R.M, (1983). Early middle Archaic site distribution in western Maine.. North American Archaeology 4, 225244.
Waters, J.H, Ray, C.E, (1961). Former range of the sea mink.. Journal of Mammalogy 42, 380383.
Wright, B.S, (1962). The sea mink of Fundy.. Wildlife Sketches—Near and Far p. 143151.
Youngman, P.M, (1975). Mammals of the Yukon Territory.. National Museum of Canada, Publication in Zoology 10, 1192.
Youngman, P.M, (1982). Distribution and systematics of the European mink Mustela lutreola Linnaeus 1761.. Acta Zoologica Fennica 166, 148.
Youngman, P.M, (1993). The Pleistocene small carnivores of eastern Beringia.. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 107, 139163.
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? *



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