The Extinct Ice Age Mammals of North America

March 13, 2017

University of Washington Anthropology Professor Donald Grayson and recipient of the 2015 University Faculty Lecture Award delivers the University Faculty Lecture on April 28, 2016. Toward the end of the Ice Age, North America saw the extinction of an astonishing variety of often huge animals. Mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, lions, armadillos the size of small cars, sloths the size of elephants, beavers the size of bears, and many others were all gone by about 10,000 years ago. We do not know what caused these extinctions, but our knowledge of the Ice Age archaeology and paleontology of the deserts of western North America provides a novel opportunity to examine the common but contentious argument that people were behind all of them.

Donald K. Grayson, professor, Department of Anthropology, UW