Coastal erosion at central Whidbey Island reveals a cross-section view of dune sands that contain the only known record of animals that inhabited the Pacific Northwest coast during the early Holocene. Mammal fossils include bones and teeth of deer, wolf, brown bear, and several species of rodents. A deer vertebra from basal beds yielded a 14C age of 8840 ± 50 yr BP. The faunal diversity suggests that the region was repopulated relatively quickly following the final retreat of the Cordilleran sheet. This paleofauna was quite different from that of the late Pleistocene, when the region was inhabited by mammoth, musk oxen, giant sloth, and other large mammals. Avian remains include hawks, geese, and seabirds, 3 groups that occupied quite different ecological niches. Early Holocene bird fossils from Whidbey Island are dissimilar to late Pleistocene avifaunas from inland sites in California and Oregon, evidence that the coastal environment offered habitat conditions quite unlike those of interior wetlands.
Mustoe, George E.; Harington, C. Richard; and Morlan, Richard E.
"Cedar Hollow, an early Holocene faunal site From Whidbey Island, Washington,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 65:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol65/iss4/2