December 3, 2020
Hillsborough Mastodon

Hillsborough Mastodon

Evidence of the ice age can be found all over New Brunswick, however the ice age fossils tell some of the most interesting stories. One of the best-known ice age fossils in New Brunswick is the Hillsborough Mastodon.

Now extinct, mastodons were large animals that looked like hairy elephants. More than 60 mastodon specimens have been discovered across Canada but the Hillsborough mastodon is considered to be one of the most remarkable. 

NB Museum Mastodon

The mastodon was discovered in 1936 by workers repairing a dam on the property of Conrad Osman at Hillsborough.

Conrad Osmond
Conrad Osmond, with the remains of the Hillsborough Mastodon at location in 1936. From Library and Archives Canada / PA-1989-455 NPC

The animal likely became mired in a swamp during a warm interval of the last interglacial period, about 80,000 years ago. The animal was a young adult, perhaps 15 to 18 years old at death. It is estimated to have weighed about 8.3 tonnes. 

The remains of the Mastadon are now located in the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.

To see an exact GPS location of the Mastodon visit Orienteering New Brunswick.

Resource: New Brunswick Museum

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