People of the Waters - Paleoindian
OPM #:
800-T42
Object Name:
Mastodon
Description:
Mastodon mandible (lower jaw) with teeth. It could be anywhere from 9,600 years old, the youngest known mastodon, to 12,000 or more years old. It is a mature but young animal, meaning about 10 years old.
Comments:
There was a high mortality rate among young males because they were pushed out of the herd. Climate change was taking a toll on these animals and was a huge factor in their decline. They had unique food needs and consumed about 300 pounds of browse per day. They also needed water and to eat either mineral salt or mineral clay to counter act the turpentine in their browse (turpentine formed from the large amount of conifers they ate). As the climate changed, the ideal environment for these animals shrank, thus condensing the herds into a smaller and smaller space. This resulted in competition for resources, and also made them more susceptible to predation by humans. Paleoindian hunters are known to have scavenged mastodon and mammoth heads, burying them to keep them from predators. The soil had a low-oxygen content and was good for preservation of meat. These caches were important energy food sources during the winter, and the head had a great deal of high-value food, like the brain.
Found:
Indiana
Collector:
Mitchell, Stephen D.
Material:
Bone/Teeth
Culture/Period:
Pleistocene
Dimensions:
H-41.91 W-40.64 L-76.2 cm
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Amy Maile Photography Copyright 2017Amy Maile Photography Copyright 2017
Amy Maile Photography Copyright 2017Amy Maile Photography Copyright 2017