Fossil mammoth teeth tell us about past climates and plant communities
Written August 7, 2012, published September 2012
‘swamps’ at the Copelin Ranch along Latah Creek in Spokane County (site 06). When assembled in 1886 in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, this ‘mammoth’ was considered to be the first fully mounted specimen, albeit a composite from several individuals, of a mammoth in North America. (Photo from Higley, 1886.)
Washington Geology, vol. 27, no. 2/3/4, December 1999, page 25 “Some Notable Finds of Columbian Mammoths
from Washington State” Bax R. Barton
The Columbian mammoth, Mammuthus columbi, is the state fossil. Bax Barton wrote in Washington Geology (Vol. 27 (2/3/4), 1999, page 23) “Of the 39 counties in Washington, only heavily forested counties on the west side of the Cascade mountains (for example, Skamania and Wahkiakum) and less populated counties on the east side (for example, Ferry and Pend Oreille) have thus far failed to produce mammoth fossils.” The Columbian mammoth was up to 13 feet tall and just under 10 tons, eating around 500 pounds of vegetation per day. This mammoth had long tusks, and was not very hairy, unlike other mammoth species, and also unlike mastodons.
|Mammoth tooth on display at Pacific County Historical Society, South Bend, WA. It was collected from the floodplain of the North River in north Pacific County. Photo by Kathleen Sayce.|