Ice Age Elephant
During the last major Ice Age — 12,000 to 25,000 years ago — Middle Tennessee was home to many animals that are extinct today, including the saber-tooth tiger, the mammoth, and the mastodon. In 1885, the tusk of a mastodon, an Ice Age ancestor of the elephant, was discovered by locals while digging a well in the Sulphur Springs Bottoms. The mineral-rich mud surrounding the nearby springs helped to preserve the animal's remains.
Distinguished by their long curved tusks and cusp-shaped teeth, mastodons were herbivores that lived in herds and survived by grazing on nuts, leaves, and the branches of small trees. Growing up to eight feet in height and weighing over four tons, these large creatures were probably drawn to the spring salt deposits. Mastodons resembled their distant cousin, the wooly mammoth, because of their thick shaggy hair. They disappeared from the North American landscape over 10,000 years ago. A major factor in their extinction may have been the introduction of Paleo-Americans to the continent. These Indians hunted the mastodon as a source of protein.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals
Location. 36° 10.354′ N, 86° 47.029′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from 4th Avenue North 0.1 miles north of Harrison Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 916 4th Ave N, Nashville TN 37219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Buried City (here, next to this marker); Platform Mound (here, next to this marker); Salt Industry (here, next to this marker); Mineral Water (a few steps from this marker); Coach Ed Temple (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Original Gas Works (approx. 0.2 miles away); Baseball in Civil War Nashville (approx. ¼ mile away); Hell’s Half Acre (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 24, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.