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Late Pleistocene mammoth remains from Coastal Maine, USA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

B. Gary Hoyle
Affiliation:
Maine State Museum, Augusta, ME 04333-0083, USA
Daniel C. Fisher
Affiliation:
Maine State Museum, Augusta, ME 04333-0083, USA
Harold W. Borns Jr.
Affiliation:
Maine State Museum, Augusta, ME 04333-0083, USA
Lisa L. Churchill-Dickson
Affiliation:
7 Penley Street, Augusta, ME 04330, USA
Christopher C. Dorion
Affiliation:
79 Bennoch Road, Orono, ME 04473, USA
Thomas K. Weddle
Affiliation:
Maine Geological Survey, Augusta, ME 04333-0022, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
University of Washington

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