​Yukon palaeontology publications

The Yukon Palaeontology program is active in research on Yukon’s ancient past. We conduct scientific studies and assist researchers from around the globe to help us learn more about Yukon’s rich palaeontological, geological and palaeoecological history.

The Yukon Palaeontology program began in 1996 and since then, we have seen a renaissance in these types of research in Yukon, especially research related to the ice age land called Beringia, and the ancient mammals that inhabited it.

Below is a list of scientific publications from our research and from Yukon fossils collections.

Yukon palaeontology booklets 

Ice Age Mammals of Yukon [3 MB ]

Yukon has an amazing ice age history. This booklet delves into the record of ice age mammals found in Yukon.
Author(s): Grant Zazula and Tyler Kuhn. 48 pp.
Publication date: 2014

Ice Age Old Crow: Yukon's ancient history from north of the Arctic Circle [3 MB ]

Old Crow is Yukon's only community north of the Arctic Circle. The banks of the Old Crow River are the richest source of ice age fossils in Canada, and current research is uncovering secrets of a long vanished ice age world.
Author(s): Grant Zazula and Duane Froese. 44 pp.
Publication date: 2013
Aussi disponsible en français.

Ice Age Klondike: Fossil treasures from the frozen ground [2.4 MB]

The Klondike has a rich natural history that extends back long before stampeders arrived in search of gold. Remnants of this prehistoric past are revealed by Klondike gold miners and are helping scientists understand the Yukon’s ice age history.
Author(s): Grant Zazula and Duane Froese. 40 pp.
Publication date: 2011
Aussi disponsible en français.


Occasional papers in earth sciences

A late Middle Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage 6) vegetated surface buried by Old Crow tephra at the Palisades, interior Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 801-811.

Canadian Quarternary Association (CANQUA) Meetings, 2001: Program and Abstracts [1 MB]
Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 1
Author(s): A.V. Reyes et al. 2009. 75 pp.
Publication date: 2001

Field Guide to Quarternary Research in Central and Western Yukon Territory [2.7 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 2
CANQUA August 25-29, 2001
Author(s): D.G. Froese, A. Duk-Rodkin and J.D. Bond. 107 pp.
Publication date: 2001

Field Guide: Quarternary Volcanism, Stratigraphy, Vertebrate Palaeontology, Archaeology and Scenic Yukon River Tour, Fort Selkirk Area, Yukon Territory [1.1 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 3
CANQUA August 20-24, 2001
Author(s): Lionel E. Jackson, Jr., Crystal A. Huscroft, Ruth Gotthardt, John E. Storer and René W. Barendregt. 39 pp.
Publication date: 2001

Full-Glacial Macrofossils, Paleoecology and Stratigraphy of the Bluefish Exposure, Northern Yukon [4.8 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 4
Author(s): Grant Daniel Zazula. 159 pp.
Publication date: 2002

3rd International Mammoth Conference, 2003: Program and Abstracts [1.1 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 5
Editor(s): John E. Storer. 162 pp.
Publication date: 2003

3rd International Mammoth Conference (IMC) Field guide to Quarternary Research in the Klondike Goldfields [7.7 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 6
Author(s): D.G. Froese and G.D. Zazula. 77 pp.
Publication date: 2003

Locomotor Adaptations and Ecomorphology of Short-Faced Bear in Eastern Beringia [2.4 MB ]

Occasional Papers in Earth Sciences No. 7
Author(s): Paul E. Matheus. 124 pp.
Publication date: 2003


Dinosaurs and hard rock fossils

Campbell, JA et al. 2013. First Records of a Plesiosaurian (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) and an Ichthyosaur (Reptilia: Ichthyosauria) from Yukon, Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 127(3): 234-239.

Cohen, PA et al. 2011. Phosphate biomineralization in mid-Neoproterozoic protists. Geology 39(6): 539-542.

Cohen, PA and AH Knoll. 2012. Scale microfossils from the mid-Neoproterozoic Fifteenmile Group, Yukon Territory. Journal of Paleontology 86(5): 775-800.

Cumbaa, S et al. 2010. A new whitefish from the early Quaternary of Bluefish Basin, Yukon Territory, Canada, and its paleoenvironmental implications. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 47: 221-235.

Evans, DC et al. 2012. Vertebrate fossils (Dinosauria) from the Bonnet Plume Formation, Yukon Territory, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 49: 396-411.

Gangloff, RA et al. 2004. An Early Late Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracksite in Central Yukon Territory, Canada. Ichnos 11: 299-309.

Vavrek, MJ et al. 2012. A Paleogene flora from the upper Bonnet Plume Formation of northeast Yukon Territory, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 49: 547-558.

Ice age geology and tephra

Duk-Rodkin, A et al. 2004. Timing and extent of Plio-Pleistocene glaciations in north-western Canada and east-central Alaska. Quaternary Glaciations – Extent and Chronology, Part II: 313-345.

Froese, D et al. 2002. Age and significance of the Late Pleistocene Dawson tephra in eastern Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 21: 2137-2142.

Froese, DG et al. 2006. Seasonality of the late Pleistocene Dawson tephra and exceptional preservation of a buried riparian surface in central Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 25: 1542-1551.

Froese, DG et al., 2008. Ancient Permafrost and a Future, Warmer Arctic. Science 321: 1648.

Froese, DG et al. 2009. The Klondike goldfields and Pleistocene environments of Beringia. GSA Today 19(8): 4-10.

Jackson, LE et al. 2002. Late Cenozoic geology, Ancient Pacific Margin NATMAP Project, report 5: paleoecology and proxy climate change records south Klondike placer region, Yukon Territory. Geological Survey of Canada Current Research 2002-A2.

Kennedy, KE et al., 2010. Last Glacial Maximum age for the northwest Laurentide maximum from the Eagle River spillway and delta complex, northern Yukon. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 1288-1300.

Lacelle, D et al., 2013. Timing of advance and basal condition of the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last glacial maximum in the Richardson Mountains, NWT. Quaternary Research 80: 274-283.

Lacelle, D et al., 2009. Burial and preservation of a 30,000 year old perennial snowbank in Red Creek valley, Ogilvie Mountains, central Yukon, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 3401-3413.

Sanborn, PT et al. 2006. Full-glacial paleosols in perennially frozen loess sequences, Klondike goldfields, Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Research 66: 147-157.

Turner, DG et al. 2013. Middle to Late Pleistocene ice extents, tephrochronology and paleoenvironments of the White River area, southwest Yukon. Quaternary Science Reviews 75: 59-77.

Westgate, JA et al. 2009. Gold Run tephra: a Middle Pleistocene stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental marker across west-central Yukon Territory, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 46: 465-478.

Zazula, GD et al. 2004. Late Pleistocene chronology of glacial Lake Old Crow and the north-west margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Quaternary Glaciations – Extent and Chronology, Part II: 347-362.

Ice age mammals

Barnes, I et al. 2002. Dynamics of Pleistocene population extinctions in Beringian brown bears. Science 295: 2267-2270.

Barnett, R et al. 2005. Evolution of the extinct Sabretooths and the American cheetah-like cat. Cell 15: 589-590.

Barnett, R et al. 2009. Phylogeography of lions (Panthera leo ssp.) reveals three distinct taxa and a late Pleistocene reduction in genetic diversity. Molecular Ecology 18: 1668-1677.

Campos, PF et al. 2010. Ancient DNA analyses exclude humans as the driving force behind late Pleistocene musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population dynamics. PNAS 107(12): 5675-5680.

Chavan-Nalawade, S et al. 2014. New single amino acid hydroxyproline radiocarbon dates for two problematic American Mastodon fossils from Alaska. Quaternary Geochronology 20: 23-28.

Cooper, A et al. 2015. Abrupt warming events drove Late Pleistocene Holarctic megafaunal turnover. Science 349(6248): 602-606.

Debruyne, R et al. 2008. Out of America: Ancient DNA evidence for a New World origin of Late Quaternary woolly mammoths. Current Biology 18: 1-7.

Fulton, TL et al. 2011. Do glacial cycles drive walrus diversity? Evolution, The University of Oklahoma, June 17-21, 2011.

Guthrie, RD. 1990. Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe. University of Chicago Press. 323 pp.

Guthrie, RD 2006. New carbon dates link climatic change with human colonization and Pleistocene extinctions. Nature 441: 207-209.

Harington, CR. 2011. Pleistocene vertebrates of the Yukon Territory. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 2341-2354.

Heintzman, PD et al. 2015. Genomic data from extinct North American Camelops revise camel evolutionary history. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32(9): 2433-2440.

McDonald, HG et al. 2000. The Ground Sloth Megalonyx from Pleistocene deposits of the Old Crow Basin, Yukon, Canada. Arctic 53(3): 213-220.

Leonard, JA et al. 2007. Megafaunal extinctions and the disappearance of a specialized wolf ecomorph. Current Biology 17: 1146-1150.

Lorenzen, ED et al. 2011. Species-specific responses of Late Quaternary megafauna to climate and humans. Nature 479: 359-364.

Matheus, Paul E. 1995. Diet and co-ecology of Pleistocene short-faced bears and brown bears in eastern Beringia. Quaternary Research 44: 447-453.

Meiri, M et al. 2014. Faunal record identifies Bering isthmus conditions as constraint to end-Pleistocene migration to the New World. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20132167.

Metcalfe, JZ et al. 2010. Nursing, weaning, and tooth development in Woolly mammoths from Old Crow Yukon, Canada: Implications for Pleistocene extinctions. Palaeo3 298: 257-270.

Orlando, L et al. 2013. Recalibrating Equus evolution using the genome sequence of an early Middle Pleistocene horse. Nature 499: 74-78.

Plint, T et al. 2013. Stable isotope analysis of Castoroides: unravelling the ecology of the ice age giant beaver. CANQUA-CGRG Biennial Meeting, Edmonton, Alberta. Program and Abstracts, p. 200.

Raghavan, M et al. 2014. Musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) of the mammoth steppe: tracing palaeodietary and palaeoenvironmental changes over the last 50,000 years using carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis. Quaternary Science Reviews 102: 192-201.

Rybczynski, N et al. 2013. Mid-Pliocene warm-period deposits in the High Arctic yield insight into camel evolution. Nature Communications 4: 1550.

Schwartz-Narbonne, R et al. 2015. Solving the woolly mammoth conundrum: amino acid 15N-enrichment suggests a distinct forage or habitat. Nature Scientific Reports 5: 9791.

Shapiro, B et al. 2004. Rise and fall of the Beringian steppe bison. Science 306: 1561-1565.

Storer, JE 2003. The Eastern Beringian vole Microtus deceitensis (Rodentia, Muridae, Arvicolinae) in Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene faunas of Alaska and Yukon. Quaternary Research 60, 84-93.

Storer, JE. 2004. A new species of Mustela (Mammalia; Carnivora; Mustelidae) from the Fort Selkirk Fauna (Early Pleistocene) of Yukon Territory, Canada. Paldicola 4(4): 151-155.

Storer, JE. 2004. A Middle Pleistocene (Late Irvingtonian) mammalian fauna from Thistle Creek, Klondike Goldfields region of Yukon Territory, Canada. Paludicola 4(4): 137-150.

Stuart, AJ and AM Lister. 2011. Extinction chronology of the cave lion Panthera spelaea. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 2329-2340.

Szpak, P et al. 2010. Regional difference in bone collagen δ13C and δ15N of Pleistocene mammoths: implications for paleoecology of the mammoth steppe. Palaeo3 286: 88-96.

Weinstock, J et al. 2005. Evolution, systematics, and phylogeography of Pleistocene horses in the New World: a molecular perspective. PLOS Biology 3(8) e241.

Zazula, GD et al. 2009. New radiocarbon-dated vertebrate fossils from Herschel Island: implications for the palaeoenvironments and glacial chronology of the Beaufort Sea Coastlands. Arctic 62(3): 273-280.

Zazula, GD et al. 2009. A late Pleistocene steppe bison (Bison priscus) partial carcass from Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 2734-2742.

Zazula, GD et al. 2011. Last Interglacial western camel (Camelops hesternus) from eastern Beringia. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 2355-2360.

Zazula, GD et al. 2015. American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change. PNAS 111(52): 18460-18465.

Ice age paleoenvironments

Bigelow, NH et al. 2007. Plant macrofossil records-Arctic North America. Encyclopedia of Quaternary Sciences 2nd Edition: 746-759.

D’Costa, VM et al. 2011. Antibiotic resistance is ancient. Nature 477: 457-461.

Gaglioti, BV et al. 2011. Late Pleistocene paleoecology of arctic ground squirrel (Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests from Interior Alaska’s mammoth steppe ecosystem, USA. Quaternary Research 76: 373-382.

Reyes, AV et al. 2009. A late-middle Pleistocene (Marine Isotope Stage 6) vegetated surface buried by Old Crow tephra at the Palisades, interior Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 801-811.

Wooller, MJ et al. 2007. Stable carbon isotope compositions of eastern Beringian grasses and sedges: investigating their potential as paleoenvironmental indicators. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 39(2): 318-331.

Wooller, MJ et al. 2011. The detailed palaeoecology of a mid-Wisconsinan interstadial (ca. 32000 14C a BP) vegetation surface from interior Alaska. Journal of Quaternary Science 26(7): 746-756.

Zazula, GD et al. 2003. Ice-age steppe vegetation in east Beringia. Nature 423: 603.

Zazula, GD et al. 2006. New spruce (Picea spp.) macrofossils from Yukon Territory: implications for late Pleistocene refugia in Eastern Beringia. Arctic 59(4): 391-400.

Zazula, GD et al. 2006. Macrofossil and pollen evidence for full-glacial steppe within an ecological mosaic along the Bluefish River, eastern Beringia. Quaternary International 142-143: 2-19.

Zazula, GD et al. 2006. Vegetation buried under Dawson tephra 25,300 14C years BP and locally diverse late paleoenvironments of Goldbottom Creek, Yukon, Canada. Palaeo3 242: 253-286.

Zazula, GD et al. 2007. Arctic ground squirrels of the mammoth-steppe: paleoecology of Late Pleistocene middens (~24 000-29 450 14C yr BP), Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 26: 979-1003.

Zazula, GD et al. 2011. Early Wisconsinan (MIS 4) arctic ground squirrel middens and a squirrel-eye-view of the mammoth steppe. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 2220-2237.