Late Pleistocene mammoths (Mammathus Columbi) from Mesa Redonda, Quay County, east-central NM
— Gary S. Morgan, Spencer G. Lucas, and Mark E. Gordon


In 1929, Robert Abercrombie discovered parts of at least five mammoth skeletons near Mesa Redonda, Quay County, New Mexico. Nelson Vaughn of the Colorado Museum of Natural History (now the Denver Museum of Nature and Science) supervised the excavation of these mammoths in 1930. Many of the Mesa Redonda mammoth fossils were transferred to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in 1985 where they were used to construct a composite mounted skeleton now on display. The mammoth fossils were recovered from an alluvial fan deposit of probable late Pleistocene age. Measurements of three Mammuthus M3s from Mesa Redonda result in ranges of: length, 241-257 trim; width, 92-101 mm; crown height, 187-271 mm; enamel thickness, 2.3-3,0 mm; 17-19 plates; and lamellar frequency (plates/100 mm) of 6-8. The measurements and morphology of the Mesa Redonda mammoth teeth support their assignment to Mammuthus columbi. The presence of M. columbi and the associated fauna of extant terrestrial gastropods indicates a late Pleistocene (late Rancholabrean) age for the Mesa Redonda fauna. The gastropod assemblage suggests a relatively mesic, riparian habitat of grasses and woody, deciduous vegetation.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Morgan, Gary S.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Gordon, Mark E., 2001, Late Pleistocene mammoths (Mammathus Columbi) from Mesa Redonda, Quay County, east-central NM, in: Geology of the Llano Estacado, Lucas, Spencer G.; Ulmer-Scholle, Dana S., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 52nd Field Conference, pp. 285-292.

[see guidebook]