By Staff Reports
Did you know that three entirely different kinds of huge prehistoric elephants used to make their homes in Southern California? A new exhibit in San Bernardino County Museum’s hall of geology and paleontology will introduce visitors to the largest of the large Ice Age mammals when Mastodons! opens on Saturday, June 11.
“Great things are happening at the County museum,” commented Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “It is a great place to engage in the cultural and natural heritage of our county. I encourage you to bring your family and friends to learn more about the prehistoric elephants that roamed our region millions of years ago and to also enjoy the new displays available in the Geology Gallery.”
Mastodons, mammoths, and gomphotheres entered North America millions of years ago and roamed throughout the continent until the end of the Ice Age, when they became extinct along with other large mammals including camels, giant ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats. Now, a full-size mastodon mother and calf will greet Museum patrons as they enter the geology hall, along with new information about prehistoric elephants in the region. The mastodons help round out the “Life to Death to Discovery” diorama that culminates in a recreated dig to recover mastodon fossils.
“Until you’ve stood next to a mastodon, you have no idea just how huge these animals were,” said Melissa Russo, the museum’s director. “Once kids get a chance to get up close and personal with a mastodon, we’re sure they’ll be excited to continue to explore, dream, and discover more about fossils and about our regional natural heritage.”
Mastodons!, and the County Museum’s other exciting events and exhibits reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Needlework demonstrations are is included with museum admission. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.