Geologic Resources: The Friendly Dinosaur  The Friendly Woolly Mammoth  The Friendly Dinosaur
The Great Ice Age
The Pleistocene Epoch of the Quaternary Period (Cenozoic Era)

 

 
 
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A fascinating interval of geologic history occurred during the Great Ice Age, or the Pleistocene Epoch (Geologic Time) which has been dated as from about 8,000 years ago to 1.8 million years ago (USGS).   It is believed that the ancestors of modern man evolved during this period and co-existed with the animals of this period.   During the Pleistocene Epoch there were four completely separate glacial advances in North America (Stovall and Brown, 1955).   The advances were separated by long intervals of ice withdrawal, sufficient to permit the previously occupied area covered by ice to be reoccupied by plants and animals.   Glaciation severely affected life on the earth.   Animal and plant life was forced out of vast portions of the land covered by continental ice sheets.Cave Man   Large-scale migrations must have taken place as the ice sheets grew and climatic changes occurred.   During the early part of the Pleistocene both mastodons and mammoths were abundant at many locations across the earth.   Their fossilized remains have been found in nearly every state in the USA.   Preying upon other animals of the time were many different carnivores.   They included Smilodon, the great saber-tooth cat, and Felis atrox, the great American lion.   Some examples of Pleistocene life are presented below:

 

 
    Agassiz Rock, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, USA
Glacial Erratic (deposited on bedrock).   Agassiz Rock, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, USA.   Named in honor of former Harvard University Professor Louis Agassiz who first theorized the rocks and boulders that are scattered across the New England landscape were shaped and deposited by glaciers.   Much evidence of the "Great Ice Age" in New England (and much of continental North America) is found in the form of glacial erratics, moraines, drumlins, eskers, and many other landforms and deposits resulting from vast continental ice sheets.   The guy in the picture is not an example of Pleistocene life (smirk).   He is presented for scale only.   Photo by Flo Bruehl, 7/19/03.
 
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      Geologic Resources:  Columbian MammothGeologic Resources:  Columbian Mammoth
Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) skeleton from Melbourne, Florida, USA.  This was a very large grassland herbivore of the Pleistocene Period.   This species was the largest of the mammoths and is displayed together with a sketch at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.   It stood approximately 12 feet (3.6 meters) tall and weighed 10,000 pounds (4,600 kg.).   The erected fossil skeleton is displayed adjacent to fossil skeletons of a Mastodon (Mammut americanum) and an Irish Elk (Megaloceros hibernicus).   Photo by Flo Bruehl, October 29, 2006.

Geologic Resources:  American MastodonGeologic Resources:  American Mastodon
American Mastodon (Mammut americanum) skeleton from St. Helena Island, South Carolina, USA.  This was a very large grassland herbivore of the Pleistocene Epoch.   This species was the largest of the mammoths and is displayed at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.   It stood approximately 8-10 feet (2.5-3 meters) tall and weighed 4-6 tons (3,500-5,400 kg.).   Here, it is displayed between fossil skeletons of a cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) and a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi).   Photo by Flo Bruehl, October 29, 2006.


Sabertoothed cat (Smilodon californicus) skeleton from Rancho La Brea, California, USA.  This was a fierce predatory carnivore  of the Pleistocene Epoch.   The erected fossilized skeleton and a sketch are displayed at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.   It stood approximately 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall, 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters) long, and weighed 440 pounds (200 kg.).   Here, the fossil skeleton is displayed in front of fossil skeletons of a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and a Mastodon (Mammut americanum).   Photo by Flo Bruehl, October 29, 2006.

Geologic Resources:  Ursus spelaeus (cave bear)Geologic Resources:  Ursus spelaeus (cave bear)
Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) skeleton from Rotelstein, Austria.  This was a an omnivore, feeding on herbs, berries, and also honey, and occasionally small animals.   The erected fossilized skeleton and a sketch are displayed at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.   It was a large bear, approximately 30% bigger than the modern Brown Bear.   Here, the fossil skeleton is displayed in front of fossil skeletons of a Mastodon (Mammut americanum) and a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi).   It lived during the Pleistocene Epoch and became extinct around 10,000 years ago.   Photo by Flo Bruehl, October 29, 2006.

Geologic Resources:  Pleistocene horse (Equus scotti)Geologic Resources:  Pleistocene horse (Equus scotti)
Pleistocene horse (Equus scotti) skeleton from Rock Creek, Texas, USA.   Equus scotti is an extinct horse species that was Native to North America during the Pleistocene Epoch.   It was descended from Old World horses that crossed over the Bering land bridge from the Eurasian continent several million years ago.   The fossil skeleton and sketch are as exhibited at the Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.   Photo by Flo Bruehl, October 29, 2006.

 

   
      For more about prehistoric life go to our pages:

If you're looking for resources for geoprofessionals try our Resources Page.   Or if you're looking for books, computers, software and electronics try our Amazon Affiliate Store.   Much of the background information about prehistoric animals was obtained at the websites Enchanted Learning and Wikipedia.   Welcome to Dinosaur State Park is a website for Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

   
                   
 

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