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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

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.

LanguageEnglish
Pages11-19
Number of pages9
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume190
Early online date05 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

Alps region
Alps
Last Glacial
Austria
ice
valley
ice stream
marine isotope stage
valleys
Last Glacial Maximum
steppe
museum
loess
glaciation
tributary
animal
river
Pleistocene
fossil
steppes

Keywords

  • Austrian Alps
  • Mammoth
  • Palaeoclimate
  • Radiocarbon dating

Cite this

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Mammoths inside the Alps during the last glacial period: Radiocarbon constraints from Austria and palaeoenvironmental implications. / Spötl, Christoph; Reimer, Paula J.; Göhlich, Ursula B.

In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 190, 15.06.2018, p. 11-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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