Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ice Age Teeth

The end of the last Ice Age was approximately 12,000 years ago. The retreat of the glaciers permitted humans to expand their populations into Europe, Asia, and eventually into the Americas.

The climate change also probably led (either directly or indirectly) to the extinction of the horse in the North and South American continents.

In the 1500s and 1600s Europeans reintroduced the horse, and American Indians, particularly Plains tribes, became excellent horsemen.

Last month a visitor found these two fossilized horse teeth along the shore at Springer's Point.

Discovering a 12,000 year old (or older) specimen from the last Ice Age is always a memorable event.

Keep your eyes open as you stroll our beaches and sandy lanes. You never know what you might find!

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about the almost forgotten 1890 "Oyster Wars" that pitted islanders against outside business interests. You can read the article here:


  1. The Outer Banks is located at the southern edge of where glaciers cut the Chesapeake Bay.
    My room mate some 35 years ago found a molar from a wooly mammoth on the beach in Salvo. We took it to Smithsonian and they estimated the tooth to be 10,000 to 20,000 years old.
    Another friend came across the lower jaw of a walrus near the same beach.
    Several years later a park ranger found a walrus skull.
    Like Phillip says, keep your eyes open for these clues to the past.

  2. I was just informed that this is a photo of one tooth, not two teeth. I learn something new every day!

  3. Anonymous1:43 PM

    You seem to be lucky at finding antiquities.
    The only old things I ever found were age spots.

    1. I didn't find the tooth. John or Jeremy Blivens, brothers from Manteo (and descendants of William Howard of Ocracoke), found the tooth.

    2. Anonymous1:16 PM

      Sorry my mistake.
      Don't know how I missed that...
      I learn something new every day too.