Late Pleistocene (Rancholabrean) Mammalian Assemblage from Paw Paw Cove, Tilghman Island, Maryland
A small but significant assemblage of Late Pleistocene mammals was recovered from an eroding shoreline at Paw Paw Cove, located on the Chesapeake Bay side of Tilghman Island, Talbot County, Maryland. Additionally, Clovis-age (11,050–10,800 radiocarbon [14C] years before present) artifacts were found in a lag deposit beneath a loess deposit at the site. An accelerator mass spectrometry date obtained from an organic stratum below the loess at the same location suggests that this small fossil assemblage is approximately 21,000 years old. Identifiable taxa include four extinct species, Castoroides sp. (giant beaver), Equus sp. (horse), Tapirus veroensis (Vero tapir), and Mammut americanum (American mastodon), along with Canis cf. C. latrans (coyote), and Cervus elaphus (wapiti). Significantly, the tapir and giant beaver are the first records for Maryland, and the tapir is the first record from the Coastal Plain of the Chesapeake region of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The provisional identification of Canis cf. C. latrans may represent the first Late Pleistocene record from the Coastal Plain of the Chesapeake region of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.