State Symbols USA home page

Google

  SITEMAP  

  QUIZ  

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
USA (national)

Michigan State Fossil

Mastadon - click to see all fossil & dinosaur symbols
Rendering of mastodon (Mammut americanum) by Dantheman9758 on Wikipedia (under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License).
All State Fossils & Dinosaurs.

Mastodon

Mastodon / Mammoth video

The giant mastodon (Mammut americanum) was designated the official state fossil of Michigan in 2002. This magnificent animal disappeared from North America about 10,000 years ago. One of the most complete mastodon skeletons ever found was discovered near Owosso, Michigan (displayed at the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History). The longest and most intact trail of mastodon footprints ever uncovered are also in Michigan, near Ann Arbor (about 30 footprints).

The campaign to adopt the mastodon as Michigan’s state fossil was led by David P. Thomas, Sr. (a geology instructor at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor). He obtained Bill 397 from Senator Thaddeus McCotter in 2000, held petition drives, attended Rock Club meetings, attended the Michigan State Hearings, and won support from teachers and students.

American mastodon fossil skeleton - click to see all state fossils
American mastodon fossil skeleton photo by Staka on Wikipedia - published under the terms of GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or later.
All State Fossils & Dinosaurs.

What is the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth?

The American mastadon is different from the woolly mammoth (also found in Michigan but in fewer numbers). Mastodons had straighter tusks and both the body and head of the mastodon is longer and squatter than the woolly mammoth (its back doesn't slope like a mammoth's).

Mastodon's were about the size of an Asiatic elephant of today, but it's ears were smaller than modern elephants. They had thick body hair similar to a mammoth, but mastodon teeth suggest the diet of a browser, not a grazer (unlike modern elephants and mammoths). The mastodon also lacks the high, peaked knob on the head seen on the woolly mammoth. Mastadons are an older species, originating in Africa 35 million years ago and entering North America about 15 million years ago.

Source:
The State Fossil is a Giant (pdf): Michigan.gov
David P. Thomas, Sr., Dept. of Physical Science, Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106
Links:
All State Fossils & Dinosaurs


    

 

Michigan Symbols & Icons:

bird - mammal  
fish - reptile
flower - tree
wildflower
fossil - gem

flag - seal
name - nickname
motto - song
historical society
stone -soil - quarter
 

Share |

Dinosaur Pop-up Book
Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs:
The Definitive Pop-Up

Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age Video

More fossil videos

Google

What are your State Symbols?
State Symbols USA is a nonprofit organization promoting
appreciation for our natural treasures and cultural heritage.