Pleistocene Animals of the Midwestern U.S.
The Pleistocene Epoch lasted from about 1.65 million until 10,000 years ago. During that time numerous types of animals inhabited the area that is now the midwestern United States. Most of these types of animals are no longer found in the area. Some of these animals are extinct. Others are still around but no longer occur in the area.
Most of what we know about these animals comes from sites that date between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago (the last Ice Age). This is because sites older than 40,000 years old are less common than younger sites.
The following is a list of some of the types of animals that
lived in what is now the midwestern U.S. during the Pleistocene but
no longer do.
Click on the links to learn more about them.
Insectivora (shrews and moles)
Arctic Shrew (still found in MN and WI)
Northern Water Shrew (still found in MN and WI)
Starnose Mole (still found in MN and WI)
Edentata (sloths, armadillos, and anteaters)
Ground Sloths (extinct)
Beautiful Armadillo (extinct)
Carnivora (lions, tigers, and bears)
Short-faced Skunk (extinct)
Dire Wolf (extinct)
Short-faced Bear (extinct)
American Lion (extinct)
Saber-toothed Cats (extinct)
Rodentia (squirrels, rats, mice and beavers)
Giant Beaver (extinct)
Northern Grasshopper Mouse
Northern Bog Lemming
Mountain (Heather) Phenacomys
Boreal Redback Vole
Lagomorpha (rabbits and hares)
Snowshoe Hare (still found in MN and WI)
Perissodactlya (horses, rhinos, and tapirs)
Horses (extinct in North America)
Tapirs (extinct in North America)
Musk Ox (some types extinct)
American Mastodon (extinct)
Artiodactyla (deer, cows, sheep, camels, and pigs)