SOURCE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

September 12, 2016 13:00 ET

"Extreme Mammals" Show Their Amazing Stuff in New Exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - September 12, 2016) - Step right up and meet some of the most extraordinary animals of all time in the new temporary exhibition "Extreme Mammals," opening at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Sept. 23. Spectacular fossils, vivid reconstructions and lifelike models trace the ancestry and evolution of mammals, showing how and why some of them could attract the attention of carnival barkers and curiosity seekers.

Although these animals seem to have been created by Dr. Seuss, we know they are real because of scientific evidence. Extinct mammals are viewed with awe because they are so distinct from familiar living organisms, yet modern mammals are astonishing as well when considered with fresh eyes. In "Extreme Mammals," the animals are compared to their ancestors, closest relatives or contemporaries to document and explain what is normal and what is extreme. Even humans are out of the ordinary with large brains for our body size and the ability to walk upright on two legs.

Dynamic media displays, animated computer interactives, hands-on activities and dozens of fossils, casts and taxidermy specimens illustrate how life on Earth has evolved, why animals sharing key characteristics look and behave so differently from one another, and how there can be such unexpected diversity within a single group. Some lineages died out while others diversified to form groups of well-known mammals living today.

From the largest land mammal ever -- a 15-foot-tall, 20-ton extinct vegetarian named Indricotherium -- to the tiny 50-million-year-old, 1-inch Batodonoides, you will meet a cast of characters full of surprises.

  • the biggest marsupial to walk Earth
  • a giant pig whose teeth grew through the top of its snout
  • "walking" whales and seals
  • an ungulate with a camel-like body and a nose like an elephant
  • a car-size relative of the armadillo
  • an enormous extinct Irish elk from the Pleistocene

"Mammals are older than dinosaurs and, unlike dinosaurs, mammals survived Earth's last major extinction event 66 million years ago and have gone on to flourish throughout the world," said Tyler Lyson, the Museum's vertebrate paleontologist and curatorial advisor for the exhibition. "But this is only partly what makes them so fascinating. Diversity among mammals is vast, and the way they continue to adapt to their changing environments tells us much about our ever changing planet."

Admission to "Extreme Mammals" is free with general admission. For more information, visit dmns.org/mammals.

"Extreme Mammals" is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Cleveland Museum of Natural History; and the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada.

Major support in Denver provided by Colorado State University.

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community's passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world. As such, a variety of engaging exhibits, discussions, and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit dmns.org, or call 303.370.6000. Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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