Paper No. 39
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
A NEW METHOD OF AGE DETERMINATION OF MAMMUTHUS COLUMBI
Numerous hypotheses have been proposed as to the aging of ancient proboscideans, namely Mammuthus columbi, the Columbian mammoth. Of the proposed hypotheses, none has been proven in terms of accuracy. These methods leave a large margin of error resulting from application to a large range of species, in particular their use for fossil assemblages that may be missing specific anatomical features used for age determining methods. Richard Law’s (1966) work on African Elephant Age (AEY) and Sylvia Sikes’ (1966a) foramen mentale hypothesis employ measurements and visual comparisons to make rough estimates about the ages of Mammuthus columbi, but these methods may only be used when the lower mandible is present. My research introduces another technique that may prove to be more accurate and less destructive. It focuses on measurements of Columbian tusks in comparison with lower mandibular ages (AEY) to create a trend for use with only isolate tusks when the rest of the anatomy is disarticulated or not associated. I expect more accurate age profiles of kill sites and natural death scenarios because this method would encompass a larger portion of the population that was not accounted for due to missing anatomical features. In addition, it would save specimens from destructive age dating techniques that may be utilized on the tusks otherwise.