More about mammoths : Distribution of mammoths

Important Mammoth Fossil Sites

La Brea Tar Pits

Today, Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in southern California. But 20,000 years ago, it was home to mammoths, dire-wolves, saber-tooth cats and many other unusual animals. Some of these animals unfortunately got stuck in a sticky tar pit that covered most of what is now downtown Los Angeles. Their bones were preserved in the tar and later dug up by paleontologists. You can see the fossils and the tar pit at the Page Museum in Los Angeles. They have found several Columbian mammoth fossil bones including an almost complete mammoth, which they have named Zed.

Columbian mammoth bones

pool at Page Museum

A Columbian mammoth specimen and the pool diorama at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota

This place is the largest mammoth research site in the world. The most common fossils found here are male Columbian mammoths. These mammoths got trapped in a deep pond during the Ice Ages. They came to the pond to drink water and bathe, but could not leave the pond because the walls of the pond were too steep to climb.

Paleontologists continue to dig up complete skeletons of mammoths at this site. They also found three woolly mammoth skeletons too! This provides evidence that both types of mammoths lived in the area at the same time. This is a rare find – a place where the woolly mammoths from the north met the Columbian mammoths from the south!

Find out more at the Mammoth Site website.

<< Back to More about mammoths.