Dung of Mammuthus in the arid Southwest, North America

Jim I. mead, Larry D. Agenbroad, Owen Davis, Paul S. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The discovery of a unique organic deposit in a dry cave on the Colorado Plateau, southern Utah, permits the first comparison of the physical characteristics and the diet of the dung of the extinct mammoths from the arid Southwest, North America, with that of mammoths from Siberia and northern China, the only other known locations of such remains. The deposit buried beneath sand and rockfall is composed primarily of mammoth dung, estimated at over 300 m3. Radiocarbon dates on dung boluses indicate that the mammoths frequented the cave between approximately 14,700 and 11,000 yr B.P. (the range of ages at 2σ). The desiccated boluses, measuring approximately 230 × 170 × 85 mm, are nearly identical in size to dung from extant elephants. The largest contents in the dung are stalks measuring 60 × 4.5 mm. Grasses and sedges dominated the diet, although woody species were commonly eaten.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Research
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

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cave
diet
rockfall
elephant
grass
plateau
sand
North America
Dung
Southwest
measuring
Diet
comparison
Plateau
Siberia
Radiocarbon Dates
Physical
China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Dung of Mammuthus in the arid Southwest, North America. / mead, Jim I.; Agenbroad, Larry D.; Davis, Owen; Martin, Paul S.

In: Quaternary Research, Vol. 25, No. 1, 1986, p. 121-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

mead, Jim I. ; Agenbroad, Larry D. ; Davis, Owen ; Martin, Paul S. / Dung of Mammuthus in the arid Southwest, North America. In: Quaternary Research. 1986 ; Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 121-127.
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