Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Widga

Committee Members

Andrew Joyner, Joshua X. Samuels, Blaine W. Schubert


The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota preserves a unique death assemblage of sub-adult and adult male Columbian mammoths (Mammuthus columbi). Extensive work on the site has led to a detailed understanding of the taphonomy of the assemblage; yet the life histories and ecology of these mammoths remain relatively unknown. Tooth enamel from four Mammoth Site mammoth individuals were bulk sampled with one of the individuals (MSL 742) also serially micro-sampled for ๐›ฟ13C, ๐›ฟ18O, and 87Sr/86Sr. Isotopic results indicate that MSL 742 remained within the southern and western Black Hills year-round with no consistent migration patterns. ๐›ฟ13C and ๐›ฟ18O values contain minimal fluctuations, suggesting drinking water and forage was sourced from the local hot springs and surrounding landscape. This study suggests the high level of sloped landscapes in the region may have resulted in a โ€œbullโ€-only region, explaining the absence of females and juvenile mammoths at the site.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.