Mastodon paleobiology, taphonomy, and paleoenvironment in the Late Pleistocene of New York State: studies on the Hyde Park, Chemung, and North Java Sites
Warren D. Allmon; Peter L. Nester
Mastodons have played an important role in human understanding of the history of the Earth and its life. Indeed, few fossil animals have been so broadly involved in human affairs, from science to politics. The first mastodon bones to be specifically noted by Europeans were collected in New York in 1705, along the banks of the Hudson River, and the first fairly complete mastodon skeleton was discovered in Newburgh, in Orange County, in 1799. So, New York State can in some sense be called the home of the mastodon.
This volume is based on three mastodon discoveries made on private lands in New York State in close succession in 1999 and 2000. All three sites date to the latest Pleistocene, and each has its own unique postmortem history, leading to widely variable states of preservation. The trio of sites therefore provides a distinctive opportunity for analysis and comparison with other Pleistocene sites from North America.
Twenty papers, written by more than 40 authors, comprise this volume. Subjects include technical excavation accounts, taphonomic studies of the mastodon bones themselves, the educational use of mastodon matrix in classrooms, and analyses of the wood, other plants, ostracodes, beetles, diatoms, and mollusks excavated with the mastodon remains.
This volume is dedicated to Jeheskel “Hezy” Shoshani, one of the contributors to the volume, who was killed by a bomb attack on a public minibus in Ethiopia during the final stages of production.
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