| || |
October 4, 2012 - Bill Ackerbauer
Yesterday, we received the following dispatch from the New York State Museum. It's fascinating to think that today's farm fields and strip-mall parking lots of New York state were at one time the wild stomping grounds of gigantic, woolly proto-elephants. Read on:
STATE MUSEUM RESEARCH: MASTODONS, MAMMOTHS CO-EXISTED IN NYS
ALBANY, N.Y. — State Museum scientists have used radiocarbon dating to show that mastodons and mammoths, which lived about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, co-existed in New York state. Dr. Robert Feranec, the Museum’s curator of vertebrate paleontology and Dr. Andrew Kozlowski, glacial geologist and acting associate state geologist, co-authored the research that appeared in the latest edition of the journal Radiocarbon. The open-access article is available at https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/16009.
This research may help scientists to better understand how the modern ecosystems of New York formed. Ice covered almost the entire area of the state during the height of the ice age about 25,000 years ago. Ice age mammals, such as mastodons and mammoths, could only enter the region after the ice melted. The timing of the migration has been uncertain. The scientists hope their continuing research may show a pattern of how animals established themselves and which ones came first.
Mastodons and mammoths represent the most abundant species of large Pleistocene (ice age) animals recovered in New York. However, many of them had not been dated. Feranec and Kozlowski reported the radiocarbon dates on bone from seven mastodons and three mammoths stored in the Museum’s collections.
Testing showed that the Tunkamoose mastodon dates to approximately 15,000 years ago, which is the oldest date for a mastodon in New York state. Two tusks from this mastodon were discovered by two canoeists in November 2008 in the Black Dirt area of Orange County at the confluence of Tunkamoose Creek and the Wallkill River. One tusk measured more than nine feet and the other less complete tusk was about 5-6 feet long.
It was determined that the most recent date for a woolly mammoth recovered in the state is the Randolph mammoth, dating to about 12,000 years ago. It was discovered in May 1934 during expansion of the East Randolph Fish Hatchery in Randolph. At present, these remains represent the most complete woolly mammoth skeleton found in the state. It consists of the skull, two tusks, the left lower third molar and distal portions of the right ulna, right radius and left femur.
This research project was primarily funded by the United States Geological Survey’s state mapping program.
Established in 1836, the New York State Museum is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment
News, Blogs & Events Web