American Mastadon

Mastodons were large elephant-like animals. They have been extinct for about 9,000 years. Their remains have been found all over North America. They are often confused with the woolly mammoth. They were shorter in height but longer and heavier than the mammoth. They had straighter tusks and did not have a hump on their heads like the mammoth.  Unlike mammoths who usually lived in open areas, mastodons seem to have liked being in forested and swampy areas. They ate leaves, twigs, cones, grasses, swamp plants and mosses. The remains of one mastodon had nearly 250 liters of plant material in its stomach.  Mastodons were different colors of brown. They had long guard hair over a fine woolly layer. Some pieces of hair were found beside a skeleton in the northern United States. These hairs were from 7 cm to 18 cm long.  Scimitar Cats preyed on young mastodons. Paleo-Indians hunted the young and the adults. All parts of the mastodon would have been used.

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Due to the Denali Park Road closure at mile 43, we are unable to operate Kantishna Wilderness Trails this season.