Coldwater Ice Age Locality

Fossilized animal bones and plant remains have been collected at the Coldwater locality in St. Louis County, Missouri by both professional and amateur palentologists. The deposits are interpreted as a swamp dating to the Illinoian phase of the Late Pleistocene (approximately 200,000 and 125,000 years ago). The locality has been covered by suburban developments and is not open to the public.



Fragment of the upper part of a Mastodon's humerus.



Fragment of a Mastodon's rib. Measures 40 cm length, 6 cm width, and 2.3 cm. in thickness.



Fragment of a ground sloth claw from Coldwater locality (upper) and an museum cast of an intact ground sloth claw (lower) for comparison.



Spruce wood branch from the Coldwater locality. Gnawl marks on the wood may be the result of giant beavers.



Rings of the spruce branch from Coldwater locality. Maximum diameter of 7 cm.



Spruce cones from the Coldwater locality.



Spruce cone and snail shell fragments in matrix from Coldwater locality.



Large seed (butternut?) from a layer higher than the spruce wood at Coldwater locality.



Snail shells from Coldwater locality.



Closeup on snail shells from Coldwater locality.



Five large bones fragments (possibly Mastodon) from the Coldwater locality.



The Ice Age had small animals, too! Seven bones of small mammals from the Coldwater locality.



Rodent jaw from Coldwater locality.



Ice Age horse tooth from Coldwater locality.



Enamel cusp pattern on Ice Age horse tooth from Coldwater locality.



Giant Beaver tooth from Coldwater locality.



Giant Beaver tooth from Coldwater locality.



Vivianite (Blue mineral) precipitated on a bone splinter from from Coldwater locality.



Jaw of an Ice Age peccary (wild pig) from Coldwater locality, 20 cm. in length.



Closeup of the peccary jaw from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (split Mastodon femur?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon fibula fragment?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon scapula fragment?) from Coldwater locality.



Big bone (Mastodon?) from Coldwater locality.


Big bone (Mastodon pelvis fragment?) from Coldwater locality.


Large bone (sloth?) from the Coldwater locality.



Large bone (bison?) from Coldwater locality.

No bone tools, stone tools, distinct cut marks, or charcoal have been observed at the Coldwater locality. One amateur paleontologist reported the discovery of a single human bone from the Coldwater locality; the bone is human, but it is unlikely that it is contemporaneous with the Ice Age deposit. The context of the single human bone was documented (measured, drawn, photographed, etc.) when it was discovered.

The Coldwater locality has been studied for over 30 years by Dr. Bruce Stinchcomb, retired Professor of Geology at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley. The digital images at this website are of animal and plant samples collection by Professor Stinchcomb.


Another Webpage about this locality


Webpage constructed 7 May 2006