The Ice Age in Wisconsin

Retreating Glaciers Diminish Unique Species

by Leo Samson-Samuel, age 10

Fifty thousand years ago, in a time called the Ice Age, glaciers covering Madison reached heights equal to five Wisconsin state capitol buildings on top of each other. However, rising temperatures following this period caused the glaciers to shift and create holes in the land. Ultimately, these holes filled with water and became what are now known as Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa.

The end of the Ice Age did more than create lakes in Wisconsin. In fact, rising temperatures also caused the extinction of many fascinating animal species. For example, one such species that roamed the globe prior to the end of the Ice Age was the saber-toothed tiger. Weighing approximately 440 pounds, the saber-toothed tiger was larger than a modern lion. As their name suggests, saber-toothed tigers are also remembered for their extremely long canine teeth.

An additional animal rendered obsolete by the warm period following the Ice Age was the giant beaver. One of the largest rodents ever to exist, the giant beaver—like the saber-toothed tiger—had remarkably long teeth. Specifically, their front incisors grew to approximately six inches.

While some are glad temperatures rose and brought an end to the freezing Ice Age, others might wish that the species prominent during this time still existed today.

[Source: Simpson Street Free Press Archives]

A wonderful article! Really good intro. Keep on the good work. – Daniel JSennett MS (2014-06-19 18:02)
Nice story Leo, you write well. Grandpa Bruce – Bruce SamsonMN (2014-06-19 21:00)
This is cool – jacquelinefalk (2015-01-26 14:10)