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Age of the Shasta Ground Sloth from Aden Crater, New Mexico

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Elwyn L. Simons
Peabody Museum, New Haven, Connecticut
H. L. Alexander Jr.
Peabody Museum, New Haven, Connecticut


Late survival of the Shasta ground sloth, Nothrotherium shastense, an assumption partially based on excellent preservation of a specimen from the Aden Crater, New Mexico, can no longer be supported, at least on the basis of this specimen. Two radiocarbon dates, one derived from desiccated tissues and the other from an associated coprolite (9840 ± 160 and 11,080 ± 200 B.P.), place the specimen within the temporal span of other dated ground-sloth finds. The discrepancy of over 1000 years in these two dates can be explained by alcohol contamination of the tissue sample.

Facts and Comments
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 1964

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