Valley of the Mastodons is coming at the Western Science Center in Hemet, California

August 1, 2017

(c) Brian Engh and the Western Science Center

Quick hit here: all this week there are mastodon-themed events going on at the Western Science Center in Hemet, including talks from paleontologists and an opening reception this Friday evening, August 4, before the exhibit formally opens to the public on Saturday. There’s a good overview of events at the WSC website here, and a nice post about the science and scientists behind the mastodon-fest at the PLOS Paleo Community blog here.

(c) Brian Engh and the Western Science Center

I’m slapping Brian Engh’s art all over this post because one of the coolest things going this week will be the unveiling of Brian’s life-size painting of two fighting mastodons, which will cover one wall of the main paleo exhibit area at WSC (see also: Brian’s blog, Patreon page, and paleoart YouTube channel). Modern elephants use their tusks to do battle, and we have compelling evidence that fossil proboscideans did so as well, like the famous fighting mammoths of Crawford, Nebraska. One of the WSC mastodons, nicknamed Max, has several partially healed pathologies on his jaw that might be wounds from combat.

(c) Brian Engh and the Western Science Center

There are loads of other mastodons at the Western Science Center, and there’s going to be a lot of mastodon science going on this week, so head on out if you are in the area and interested in big dead things. I’ll be there myself, at least on Friday evening, not as a professional paleontologist but as a fan of proboscideans, Ice Age megafauna, Inland Empire science, and awesome paleo-art. I hope to see you there.

(c) Brian Engh and the Western Science Center

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2 Responses to “Valley of the Mastodons is coming at the Western Science Center in Hemet, California”

  1. william McInnes Says:

    For what it’s worth Matt, I have published a sci-fi novel on the Early Holocene of North America and as of late I’m attempting to complete work on books 2, 3, 4 and 5 (Late Pleistocene Tarantian of South America to Early Pleistocene Gelasian of Africa). Inspired by Karel Zeman’s 1955 film Cesta Do Praveku to teach young children/ adults about deep time, I have endeavored to do the same by updating the story to 21st C specs. Unlike Zeman, today, to do it properly, it would take over 100 sequels (each book devoted to a specific geological Stage of Time). It’s a lifetimes work. It involves 9 children and 3 puppies as opposed to Zeman’s 4 children. Over the next year, I am devoting the first 5 books to the Ice Ages. The story will be told through the eyes of children as they struggle to survive each “alien” environmental Ice Age encounter. It’s an intro to verte. palaeo. and better allows children/ young adults to relate to their own.
    Titled : CLOCKWORK STRANGE – Into the Whirlwind : Book 1 : The Holocene — sold on Amazon
    I wish I knew of the exhibit being opened at the Western Science Center earlier. Hope to see some good pics from exhibit.


  2. […] Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week […]


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