Abstract

The writer has assembled the principal results from the investigations of early man made in America, especially North America, from 1839 to 1939. Special attention is directed to associated vertebrate faunas and geologic conditions. A selected bibliography and index to localities in North America are given. It is concluded that man in America was contemporaneous with several vertebrate genera and species now extinct. Among extinct mammalia regarded as associated with man on the basis of more than one occurrence and on observations by more than one worker are elephant, mastodon, camel, horse, bison, sloth, armadillo, glyptodont, tapir, dire wolf, sabre-tooth tiger, peccary, beaver, deer, and cave bear. A considerable number of other extinct species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, based on observations at one or more localities, are probably to be included as associates of man. Human materials have been found in unmistakable association with these animals under varied geologic conditions such as in stream terrace, cave, loess, peat, and lake deposits. Some of the extinct animals associated with man, formerly regarded as index fossils of the Pleistocene, appear to have continued their existence into relatively late geologic time. The supposition that all species with which man is associated continued into the Recent epoch is not justified. Additional information on the time of extinction of these animals and on the age of human remains found in association with them has been obtained in recent years from a study of physiographic features, particularly stream terraces. These observations are in agreement with the conclusion derived from a study of the fossils that man reached America previous to the close of the Pleistocene period.

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