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Lab number
Material dated
badger bone collagen; collagène osseux de blaireau
Taxa dated
Taxidea taxus skull (CMN-17260, id. by C.R. Harington)
Schmidt's mine, 640 m asl, 13 km from Hunker Creek summit, Dominion Creek, Klondike District, Yukon drainage, Yukon Territory
Map sheet
115 O/15
C.R. Harington
Date submitted
September 25, 0098
Measured Age
15190 ± 130
Normalized Age
15240 ± 130
palaeobiology; paléobiologie
placer mine
Associated taxa
Mammalia: Taxidea taxus 1
KkVh-VP-28, Dawson Loc. 28: Matthews reports that an Arctic ground squirrel nest contained a seed cache, insect fossils, and the nearly complete skeleton of a ground squirrel (permophilus parry) that evidently died in its hibernaculum. The exposure from which the nest comes, consists of frozen, organic silts (locally called "mucks") capping auriferous gravels. The exact position of the nest with respect to the surface is unknown, but it was found in situ near the silt/gravel contact. The age is in accord with another date (I-3659, 14,870 +/- 260 BP) on bones of quu sp. also found near the contact of silts and gold bearing gravels but at another exposure in the same area (Harington, 1977). Fossilized ground squirrel nests have been found at other sites in the Dawson area as well as in Alaska where several have been dated (Péwé, 1975, Table 13). This is the first date on a ground squirrel nest from the Yukon Teritory. Such nests commonly provide a wealth of paleoecological data, and preliminary study of the nest dated by GSC-2641 indicates that it is no exception. In addition to the skeletal remains, the seeds from the seed cache and insects are numerous and exceptionally well preserved. The latter include larvai and adults of carrion beetles which probably occupied the nest after the ground squirrel had died. Among them is the carrion beetle ilpha coloradensi Wick., a rare beetle in Alaska-Yukon today. W. Blake, Jr. notes that X-ray diffraction showed that the crystals in the seed cache are gypsum. The portion of the sample dated is the material that floated on water.