Mastodon State Park, MO

So, apparently 12,000 – 14,000 years ago (I wasn’t alive then….) there were these Mastodon creatures who lived in (what is now) the state of Missouri. Don’t know if they took a census back then, or not. However, there’s this really cool state park about 15 miles just south of St. Louis, Missouri, were these folks who loved to dig up old things, and started a state park back in the late 1800’s. It’s call Mastodon State Historic Site. Click here for their website. Here’s a small snippet from their website:

Mastodon State Historic Site contains an important archaeological and paleontological site – the Kimmswick Bone Bed, where scientists discovered the first solid evidence of the coexistence of humans and the American mastodon in eastern North America.

At the end of the ice age that occurred from 35,000 to 10,000 years ago, the glaciers to the north were slowly melting as the earth warmed. Animals such as giant ground sloths, peccaries, and hairy, elephant-like mastodons roamed the Midwest. Paleontologists theorize that the area was once swampy and contained mineral springs. Animals that came to the springs may have become trapped in the mud, which helped preserve their bones. Early American Indians also had reached present-day Missouri by at least 12,000 years ago. For a brief period at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, the lives of humans and mastodons intertwined.

The Kimmswick Bone Bed is important in the history of archaeological discovery, as well as a rare example of a stratified ice age Paleo-Indian Clovis culture hunting activity, and one of the oldest known archaeological sites in Missouri (over 10,000 years old). Presently the Clovis culture is the earliest well-documented Native American occupation for North America. Clovis hunters may have contributed to the extinction of many Pleistocene animals. Due to its archaeological and paleontological significance, the Kimmswick Bone Bed was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1987.

Anyway, the place is really cool (if you like old fossils like me). Admission was only $4.00 for the museum part, however, you can walk all around the 480 acres if you’d like for free!

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Yes, that’s a 12-foot Sloth! They probably moved crazy slow back then, too!

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