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Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) also was present, as was spruce, although not as abundantly as before.
This late-Pleistocene forest of spruce and deciduous trees is unusual in that a forest of similar composition does not occur anywhere today.
According to established theory, sometime during the Pleistocene, around 13,000 years ago, the last great eastern ice sheet, the Laurentian, reached down only to Wisconsin and was already receding.
Paleo Indian had immigrated across the Bering Sea by the land bridge of the Aleutian Island chain (known as Beringia) from Siberia into North America and followed a corridor south between the retreating ice sheets, perhaps to hunt wooly mammoth.
Northern Illinois has an unusual climate history due to its latitude and geology.