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These Museums Bring N America's Prehistoric Megafauna Alive

It wasn't that long ago that The united states looked very different. Throughout the Late Pleistocene (between 129,000 and 12,700 years back – also called the Ice Age) many different large animals roamed the land. With the extinction of the American megafauna, around 90 genera of mammals weighing over 44 kilograms (97 lbs) went extinct.

There are lots of ways that one can still begin to see the impact or legacy from the Ice Age today in The united states. One is the post-glacial rebound that's happening specifically in parts of Canada. One can easily see the remains of prehistoric Ice-Age lakes like Lake Agassiz which was once bigger than all the Great Lakes today combined.

North America of The Late Pleistocene

If you could go back to the time from the Late Pleistocene what can one have experienced? The north of the continent was locked in massive ice sheets, but where the ice didn't cover was a tapestry of animals better than a weight safari in Africa today.

  • Late Pleistocene: Between 129,000 and 12,700 Years Ago
  • Number: 90 Genera of Mammals Went Extinct
  • Megafauna: Over 44 Kilograms (97 lbs)

The megafauna of The united states included giant sloths, short-faced bears, American lions, tapirs, giant tortoises, American cheetahs, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, camelids, horses, saiga, llamas, other types of bison, mammoths, mastodons, more 13 more types of pronghorn, giant beavers, armadillos, and more.

  • 70%: Of United states Megafauna Went Extinct

But now around 70% from the megafauna that North America once had, has become gone. Why it went extinct remain a matter of debate. But it's likely a combination of human-driven extinction and pressures of global warming. The extinction seems to have happened on the 5,000 year period.

As these species disappeared, the landscapes changed as well – in the Arctic, taiga forests replaced the tundra steppe. It can be really easy to forget how different the planet wasn't that long ago (in geological terms).

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum is making a new section in their Natural History Galley which will include many fossils in the Pleistocene / Ice Age period. In the museum, it's possible to see and learn about the animals of the period including mammoths, mastodon, and saber-tooth cats.

  • Admission: $12.00 Per Adult
  • Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

One should be able to see Late Pleistocene exhibits in about any natural history museum in the united states.

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits and its George C. Page Museum should be one of the best places in the united states to learn about the Ice Age and the megafauna in the united states. These tar pits were a carnivore trap – where one animal would get stuck in the tar after which predators would be attracted and risk becoming trapped themselves. Consequently, a disproportionate amount of the animals recovered here are predators.

The La Brea Tar Pits preserves some of the most remarkable Ice Age United states animals and is an energetic excavation site, which makes it among the best places to learn about the prehistory of The united states.

  • Number of Pits: Over 100 Pits
  • Pit 91: The only real Pit That's Still Regularly Excavated

Numerous remains of recovered specimens from animals are displayed in the museum. The museum tells the storyline from the tar pits and presents specimens excavated from them. Visitors can walk round the park and find out the tar pits.

There are also numerous life-sized models of these prehistoric animals by or perhaps in the pits. If one is lucky, you will even be able to see they in action here, excavating and learning more about yesteryear.

  • Hours Open: 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Tuesday: closed
  • Address: 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles
  • Admission: $15.00 Per Adult

The National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is a superb museum to learn about the natural history of the planet. This massive museum includes many exhibits from the moment from the dinosaurs, from the Ice Age, and just about any other period of natural history that one can think of.

It was the eleventh favorite museum on the planet with 7.A million visitors annually – making it probably the most visited natural history museum on earth. The main building has 325,000 sq ft (30,200 m2) of exhibition space and public space with over 1,000 employees.

The National Museum of Natural History is ideal for a deep dive into the history of the earth and just how the Late Pleistocene or Ice Age fits in with this. It boasts the biggest natural history collection in the world and is home to around 185 professional natural history scientists.

  • Day Open: 364 Days A Year
  • Admission: Free
  • Most: Favorite Natural History Museum in The World
  • Specimens: Over 145 Million Specimens

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