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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.

    Also, be sure to learn about and explore San Diego’s local mammoths and mastodons in the 
    Fossil Mysteries exhibition on Level 2.