Mammoths inside the Alps during the last glacial period: Radiocarbon constraints from Austria and palaeoenvironmental implications

Christoph Spötl*, Paula J. Reimer, Ursula B. Göhlich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study examines remains of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) found inside the Austrian Alps, an area occupied by an extensive ice-stream network during the Last Glacial Maximum. The data demonstrate that these cold steppe-adapted animals locally migrated several tens of kilometers into alpine valleys. Radiocarbon analyses constrain the age of these fossils to the first half of Marine Isotope Stage 3, documenting ice-free conditions in major valleys at that time. We also provide a list of all traceable Austrian sites of Mammuthus primigenius, totaling about 230 localities, compiled through 15 museums and collections in Austria. The vast majority of these findings are from the corridors of the Danube and Mur rivers and their tributaries and the adjacent loess-covered foreland of the Alps, areas that were never ice-covered during Pleistocene glaciations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume190
Early online date05 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Austrian Alps
  • Mammoth
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Radiocarbon dating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology

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