MAMMOTHS: GIANTS OF THE ICE AGE at the Australian Museum, Sydney

Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age at the Australian Museum, Sydney
I never expected to see mammoths wooly or otherwise in Australia, a continent where mammoths never lived. But on my recent trip to Sydney I had the opportunity to see a wonderful exhibit called Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age at the Australian Museum, which featured not only mammoths, but mastodons, other Ice Age animals, and information about early humans who hunted and interacted with these animals.. The exhibit will remain on view until May 13, 2018.
Lyuba, which means "Love" in Russian is the most complete mammoth specimen ever found. Contents of her stomach included milk, pollen, pond algae and mammoth dung
My favorite part of the exhibit focused on Lyuba, an intact 42,000-year-old baby wooly mammoth found in Siberia, whose body had been buried in mud and almost completely preserved, down to her fur and the contents of her stomach.
A thick fur coat would have kept baby Lyuba warm
A life-size mural of Lyuba included a present-day muskox  pelt providing the opportunity to feel what mammoth hair may have been like.
Mammoth skeleton. Mammoth tusks could grow as long as 16 feet and weigh more than 350 pounds.
During the Ice Age, mammoths and mastodons roamed the northern regions of Europe, Asia and North America. The Imperial or Columbian mammoths found in North America were the largest of all.
Model.  Mammoth bone huts like this one were constructed about 15,000 years ago at Mezhirich in Ukraine.
In parts of eastern Europe people used mammoth bones and tusks as building material. In the exhibit, a model of one of these mammoth bone houses, along with tiny figures, functioned as a kind of Ice Age doll house.
The Hyde Park Mastodon
Among the many mammoth and mastodon remains found in North America is the Hyde Park mastodon, discovered in 2000 near the town of Hyde Park, New York. The bones were used to make casts for an assembled skeleton on display in the museum exhibit. I was also interested to learn that Thomas Jefferson had a collection of mammoth bones, collected for him by William Clark in 1807 from Big Lick, Kentucky.

The remains of Ice Age mammoths and hundreds of other animals can be seen not far from where I live in Los Angeles at the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries and have long fascinated me. They inspired my book When Mammoths Walked the Earth which focuses on worldwide mammoth discoveries. But I had never seen the preserved body of a baby mammoth until I went to Australia.
If you are heading to Australia before May 18th, a visit to Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age is well worth your time.

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