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Exhibition Highlights

In Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, visitors will:  

  • Investigate the extinction mystery of mammoths, and meet some of the last mammoths on Earth who survived on islands off the coasts of Siberia and Alaska.

  • Learn the differences between the skeletons and lifestyles of mammoths and mastodons.

  • Discover how these impressive beasts provided ancient peoples with food, tools, decorative objects, artistic inspiration—and even shelter!

  • Explore the evolutionary history of mammoths and mastodons, including their ancient ancestors, the pig-like moeritheriids and their surviving relatives, the Indian and African elephants.

  • Learn how mammoth males fought to establish dominance and win a mate—behaviors that today’s elephants share with their ancient relatives.

  • Try to pick up objects by manipulating a mechanical trunk to discover just how much work goes into balancing the weight of a mammoth’s tusks.

  • Learn the story of Lyuba, the 42,000-year-old baby mammoth whose amazing state of preservation—including eyelashes, ears, and internal organs—provided scientists with a better picture of how these ancient giants lived.
  • Ponder the fate of elephants—the only surviving relatives of mammoths and mastodons—and find out about the threats they face and how you can help.
  • See and touch real and cast fossils from the Snowmass Village fossil site high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and learn more about the diversity of the animals discovered.
  • See and touch tools used by scientists to prepare fossils for study.
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    Also, be sure to learn about and explore San Diego’s local mammoths and mastodons in the 
    Fossil Mysteries exhibition on Level 2.