Extreme Mammals On until November 6—Don't Miss It!
When it comes to the extraordinary world of mammals, the fun and fascination doesn't get bigger than this! From the largest land mammal, to the smallest, to the just plain weird, Extreme Mammals is full of surprises and not to be missed.
Right from the start, visitors are wowed by the 15-foot high Indricotherium. The largest land mammal ever, it is reminiscent of an elephant, but much bigger... and with no trunk! Young visitors stand on their tiptoes or jump to touch the underside of this incredible beast's belly. Another big and bizarre-looking creature—the trunk-nosed, llama-resembling Macrauchenia—stops people in their tracks. This specimen-rich show also features smaller creatures, just as amazing and impressive.
One such star specimen is located near the exhibition entrance—Batodonoides vanhouteni. Perched on the end of a stick, it looks like a miniature toy and could sit on a penny! It lived about 50 million years ago and weighed only as much as a dollar bill. The specimen is definitely a museum favourite and the museum's Acting Director of Exhibition Services, Carol Campbell, is always drawing people's attention to it when she's in the exhibition hall.
"It really captures your imagination; it's the specimen that evokes the most surprise in the exhibition," says Carol. "The miniature size appeals to people's emotions. Imagine what a family of them would have looked like. It's also remarkable that, as a mammal, it shared common characteristics with a blue whale, yet they are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size."
The exhibition is full of remarkable mammals, defined as extreme for a variety of reasons including adaptations, locomotion, defence abilities, size, reproduction and extinction. Some are modern and others died millions of years ago.
Did you know that bats have been on this planet for more than 50 million years? You can see a couple of very cool, genuine fossils of ancient bats in this exhibition. One of them, Palaeochiropteryx tupaiodo, lived 49 million years ago. Displayed next to it is Onychonycteris finneyi, an even-more-primitive bat that lived 52 million years!
So be sure to explore this fascinating exhibition—Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time—before it closes on November 6, 2011.
Extreme Mammals is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA, in collaboration with:
- Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa
- California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History, USA.