Title

Stratigraphic and Geochronologic Contexts of Mammoth (Mammuthus) and Other Pleistocene Fauna, Upper Missouri Basin (Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains), U.S.A.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Abstract

Mammoth fossils and other Pleistocene vertebrates from the Upper Missouri Basin, in the northern Plains and Rocky Mountains of the western interior of North America, have been dated to the late Pleistocene and are associated with Wisconsinan deposits. Mammoth remains have also been found in older stratigraphic contexts. For example, Mammuthus columbi and other fossils from the Doeden Locality are in pre-Wisconsinan terrace gravels along the Yellowstone River; the deposits are likely Illinoian or Sangamonian. Faunas that appear to be associated with the Wisconsinan interstadial, before the Last Glacial Maximum, are found in intermountain valleys and mountain settings (the Merrell Locality, Blacktail Cave, Natural Trap Cave) and on the Plains in both glaciated and unglaciated regions (Box Creek, Wibaux gravel pit). Localities containing faunas dated to the time interval from about the Last Glacial Maximum to the end of the Younger Dryas chronozone (late Wisconsinan) include the youngest fossil-bearing strata at Merrell, Blacktail Cave, Natural Trap Cave; deposits at Sheep Rock Spring, Indian Creek, MacHaffie, False Cougar Cave, Shield Trap Cave; and mammoths found at Sun River, Glendive, Colby, and the Deer Creek drainage.