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The Columbian mammoth, Mammuthus columbi, from the Wasatch Mountains of central Utah

  • David D. Gillette (a1) and David B. Madsen (a1)

Abstract

A nearly complete and well-preserved skeleton of the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and a cranial fragment of a short-faced bear (Arctodus simus) were recovered from fossil lake deposits at 2,740 m, near the crest of the Wasatch Plateau, central Utah. The mammoth bones are reliably dated to between 11,500 and 9,500 yr B.P. and may be associated with a late Paleoindian occupation at the site. The mammoth and bear are part of a high elevation Huntington Canyon megafauna including mastodon (Mammut americanum), horse (Equus sp.), and bison (Bison sp.). The mammoth was an old bull with considerable pathology in the vertebral column, ribs, and legs. Pollen, plant macrofossils, insects, and dung associated with the mammoth suggest this megafauna occupied an essentially modern environmental setting after deglaciation of the Wasatch plateau.

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