Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
A JUVENILE MASTODON SKULL FROM MONMOUTH COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
We report the discovery of a very small partial skull of a juvenile specimen of Mammut americanum Kerr, with preliminary description and observations. It was found in the notable Monmouth brook area of New Jersey and is unusual in that most Pleistocene mammal specimens from there are completely disarticulated fragments. When discovered, this specimen, the left side of a skull, was enclosed in a clod of mud. It includes portions of premaxillae, maxillae, nasals, lacrimals, and four teeth: three sequential deciduous premolars and the tip of the left permanent tusk (second incisor). The skull bones are loosely articulated and essentially unfused, with substantial gaps of unossified growth zones of up to three millimeters between them. The two anterior deciduous teeth (LDP2 and LDP3) are much worn and very fragile, while the posterior deciduous tooth (LDP4) is essentially unworn. The crypt for the first molar (LM1) is partially preserved. The interior of the braincase is characterized by shallow pitting, neither smooth nor indicative of molding against cranial gyri and sulci. Comparative research is planned in order to establish whether this is the normal or a pathological condition. Fragments were sacrificed for radiocarbon dating, but results have not yet been received.