There have been many interesting exhibits at the Missouri History Museum, but none have had me as excited about their opening like “Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age.”
It’s no secret that my retirement plan involves moving back to God’s Country and turning the family farm into a mammoth farm. I might even raise a few mastodons over on the Jody Place. I am confident that by the time I retire science will have cracked the code for mammoth cloning. I’m also confident that mammoth steak will be delicious. Those cavemen didn’t hunt them to extinction for no reason.
“Mammoths and Mastodons” opened Nov. 25 but I didn’t have time to check it out until this week. It runs through mid-April so you still have plenty of time to catch it. If you love prehistoric elephants — and who doesn’t? — it’s worth your time.
As you enter the museum from the south entrance, a giant Ice Age bear is waiting to greet you. That’s cool enough but when you enter the main hall there’s a giant replica of a Columbian Mammoth (Don’t know what a Columbian Mammoth is? Neither did it. You will learn a great deal about the mammoth family at this exhibit).
The exhibit opens with a rapid-fire video that takes you from modern-day St. Louis to the Pleistocene era. There are plenty of hands-on interactive displays for the kids, videos that explain issues like Ice Age habitat and extinction theories, 3-D paintings and a variety of fossil bones, teeth and tusks.
Highlights include a replica scimitar-toothed cat (apparently not the same thing as a sabre-toothed cat, although they look the same) and a replica mastodon skeleton.
Lowlights include a hands-on exhibit where you can determine what animal unloaded what example of dung. I didn’t go near it. Some aspects of prehistory I don’t need to know.
“Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age” runs through April 15. http://www.mohistory.org/node/4593