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Introduction to the Snowmastodon Project Special Volume The Snowmastodon Project

  • Kirk R. Johnson (a1), Ian M. Miller (a1), Jeffrey S. Pigati (a2) and the Snowmastodon Project Science Team


Studies of terrestrial biotic and environmental dynamics of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5, also called the Last Interglacial Period, provide insight into the effects of long-term climate change on Pleistocene ecosystems. In North America, however, there are relatively few fossil sites that definitively date to MIS 5. Even fewer contain multiple ecosystem components (vertebrates, invertebrates, plants) that have been studied in detail, and none are located at high elevation. Thus, our view of North American ecosystems during MIS 5 is, at best, an incomplete composite view, and alpine ecosystems are entirely undocumented.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA.E-mail address: (K.R. Johnson).


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1 A list of the Snowmastodon Project science team is provided in Appendix A.



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Johnson, K.R., and Miller, I.M. Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies. (2012). Denver Museum of Nature and Science and People's Press, Denver CO.


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