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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Pacific Section of AAPG


Contributions to the Geology of the Northern Channel Islands, So.California, 1998
Pages 177-185

Pygmy Mammoths from San Miguel Island, California

Robert S. Gray, William H. Harz


Field work during the past 70 years have established numerous mammoth sites on three of the Northern Channel Islands. Most of these sites have yielded bone remains of the pygmy mammoth Mammuthus exilis. In 1985 and 1987, three sites on the northwestern side of San Miguel Island yielded, from late Pleistocene eolianite sandstones, a complete right hind leg, a complete jaw, and a partial skull with molars. Measurements on the bones confirm that all three sites contain the pygmy mammoth. Molars in the jaw are M6 suggesting a 46 (AEY) year-old mammoth, and the molars in the skull are M4 suggesting a 15 (AEY) year-old mammoth. No radiocarbon dates are available for these three sites, but a recently discovered skull in an eolianite sandstone on San Miguel Island has been dated at approximately 41,000 years B.P.

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