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Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Geosciences

Date of Award

5-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Blaine W. Schubert, Chirs Widga

Committee Members

Steven C. Wallace

Abstract

Saltville, Virginia (Smyth County and Washington County) has been known for its late Pleistocene megafauna since the 1700s. Based on reviews of past excavations and material in collections, the most prominent fossils found at Saltville are proboscideans. Teeth of Mammuthus (mammoth) and Mammut (mastodon) from East Tennessee State University Museum of Natural History, Virginia Museum of Natural History, and Smithsonian were the focus of this research. Evidence of sedimentary abrasion and degree of concretion development was used to address the taphonomic history of the assemblage. Evidence of root resorption, tooth expectoration, and eruption and wear of proboscidean molars was used to understand age-related patterns in the proboscidean assemblage. The Saltville proboscidean assemblage contains a disproportionate amount of juvenile mammoth and mastodon teeth, some of which were lost in life. This assemblage has also been modified extensively by sedimentary abrasion.

Document Type

Thesis - Campus Only

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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