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“Mammoths and Mastodons” Exhibit Stampedes Into Anchorage Museum


On view March 4 through Oct. 9, 2011


For millions of years mammoths and mastodons roamed the Earth, great beasts weighing as much as 8 tons and bearing tusks up to 16 feet long. They were wonderfully successful creatures of the Ice Age who served as food and artistic inspiration for ancient peoples. But despite their size and ability to adapt to different habitats, these early cousins of the elephant eventually went extinct – leaving behind an abundant fossil record.

“Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age” is on view at the Anchorage Museum March 4 through Oct. 9, 2011. This exhibition, developed by The Field Museum in Chicago, brings these animals to life by exploring their interactions with one another and with ancient humans.

The “Mammoths and Mastodons” exhibition helps adults and children delve deep into the Ice Age world by re-creating it via walk-through dioramas, artifacts and hands-on activities, such as a virtual cave painting game.

The exhibition features life-size, fleshed-out Ice Age creatures, as well as skeletons, skulls and tusks. Rare and evocative objects on display include some of the oldest art in existence and fossils of mammoth relatives, such as dwarf mammoths. The exhibition also details the scientific methods used to study beasts from the past as well as their surviving relatives – modern-day elephants.

One exhibition highlight is a 40,000-year-old, intact baby mammoth specimen named Lyuba (pronounced Lee-OO-bah) discovered in 2007. Lyuba is the best-preserved specimen of her kind – complete with skin, eyes, taste buds and even some hair. She has helped scientists support many theories about mammoth behavior.

The Anchorage Museum will emphasize Alaska’s Ice Age through programs such as science cafes, lectures and family field trips to a local fossil site. Several fossils on display in the exhibition were discovered in Alaska, including tusks from some of the last mammoths on Earth. Woolly mammoths lived until 5,700 years ago on St. Paul Island, Alaska, and mammoths roamed Wrangel Island, Siberia, until about 3,700 years ago.

Tickets are $24 adult, $21 senior/student/military, $17 ages 3 to 12 and free ages 2 and younger. Prices include museum general admission. Purchase tickets at the museum front counter or online at www.anchoragemuseum.org.

ANCHORAGE MUSEUM

The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska, and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. Learn more at www.anchoragemuseum.org.

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