Missing the Mastodon

When I look out my front window to the Wasatch Front, I can't help but feel that there's something missing. It's not something seen, but something that comes from knowing what used to be here. The absence takes the shape of big, shaggy elephants called American mastodon. This was their home until not so very long ago.

From a collection of bones described in 1981 - the first such find reported in all of Utah - paleontologists know that the "bubby toothed" proboscideans lived in the Salt Lake Valley during the last Ice Age. That's practically yesterday. When I write about non-avian dinosaurs or other ancient creatures, I can't ...

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