Paper 61 The Mammalian Era on Urantia Page 702
100,000 years ago, during the retreat of the last glacier, the vast polar ice sheets began to form, and the center of ice accumulation moved considerably northward. And as long as the polar regions continue to be covered with ice, it is hardly possible for another glacial age to occur, regardless of future land elevations or modification of ocean currents.
This last glacier was one hundred thousand years advancing, and it required a like span of time to complete its northern retreat. The temperate regions have been free from the ice for a little over fifty thousand years.
The rigorous glacial period destroyed many species and radically changed numerous others. Many were sorely sifted by the to-and-fro migration which was made necessary by the advancing and retreating ice. Those animals which followed the glaciers back and forth over the land were the bear, bison, reindeer, musk ox, mammoth, and mastodon.
The mammoth sought the open prairies, but the mastodon preferred the sheltered fringes of the forest regions. The mammoth, until a late date, ranged from Mexico to Canada; the Siberian variety became wool covered. The mastodon persisted in North America until exterminated by the red man much as the white man later killed off the bison.
In North America, during the last glaciation, the horse, tapir, llama, and saber-toothed tiger became extinct. In their places sloths, armadillos, and water hogs came up from South America.
The enforced migration of life before the advancing ice led to an extraordinary commingling of plants and of animals, and with the retreat of the final ice invasion, many arctic species of both plants and animals were left stranded high upon certain mountain peaks, whither they had journeyed to escape destruction by the glacier. And so, today, these dislocated plants and animals may be found high up on the Alps of Europe and even on the Appalachian Mountains of North America.
The ice age is the last completed geologic period, the so-called Pleistocene, over two million years in length.
35,000 years ago marks the termination of the great ice age excepting in the polar regions of the planet. This date is also significant in that it approximates the arrival of a Material Son and Daughter and the beginning of the Adamic dispensation, roughly corresponding to the beginning of the Holocene or postglacial period.
This narrative, extending from the rise of mammalian life to the retreat of the ice and on down to historic times, covers a span of almost fifty million years. This is the last—the current—geologic period and is known to your researchers as the Cenozoic or recent-times era.
[Sponsored by a Resident Life Carrier.]