Mastodon Jaw
Mississippi River
Cape Girardeau, MO

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Approximately 20” long by 14” wide

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Mastodon jaw with teeth

Skull Fragment

The Mississippi River, south of Cape Girardeau, MO used to be considerably west of where
it now flows. When it broke through the Thebes gap, some 10,000 years or so, it left
behind a great swamp. The swamp was drained in the 1920’s, partially by digging a ditch,
which followed the old river channel. This “Diversion Channel” drains the northern part of
Southeastern Missouri.

This jaw and partial skull of a juvenile mastodon was found by a boy while fishing with his father.

Other collecting trips have shown ancient wood and shells similar to the Coldwater Creek Pleistocene
site of Florissant, Missouri. These remains exist beneath the Peoria Loess cap, making them greater
than 10,000 years old, to maybe as old as 30,000 years.

Any and all comments are appreciated

Brent Ashcraft

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