Fossils index


Cave painting of woolly mammoth

Mammals are animals that live mostly live on land, although whales and dolphins are mammals living in water.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Piece of mammoth tusk
Size: 32mm

There are several state fossils which are mammals. Here they are: Alaska (Woolly Mammoth), California (Saber-toothed cat), Idaho (Hagerman Horse), Michigan (Mastodon), Mississippi (Prehistoric Whale), Nebraska (Mammoth), Vermont (White Whale ) and Washington (Columbian Mammoth).

Timescale: The pre-mammals predated the dinosaurs. Mammals date back to the Jurassic period, about 200 million years ago. Modern mammals appeared during the Cenozoic, the current eon.

Fossils of mammals seem to be quite rare, to find or buy. This piece of a mammoth's tusk, above right, is not a fossil, but an actual part of the tusk. However, I wanted to have a page on mammals, so here it is!

Mammoths are extinct today, but their frozen carcasses are still occasionally found. They died out about 4,500 years ago. There are prehistoric cave paintings of mammoths, see above left.