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2 Posts tagged with the lyuba tag

Mammoth exodus

Posted by Rose Sep 5, 2014

They are leaving. We have until Sunday evening to enjoy the Mammoths:Ice Age Giants exhibition here in the Museum's Waterhouse Gallery.


It has felt good having these enigmatic creatures and their friends and relatives with us over the summer and a privilege to showcase baby Lyuba. Many thousands of visitors have loved stepping into their world, if only for a brief while, to learn about their lives and legacy. And the exhibition has far exceeded our expectations.

lyuba-face-1500.jpgBaby face: Little Lyuba, the world's most complete mammoth, returns to northern Siberia next week after the Mammoths exhibition closes here on Sunday 7 September.


After the gallery doors shut on Sunday, the exhibition will be dismantled and most of it makes it way to Cleveland, USA, where it opens next.


The precious Lyuba specimen, however, flies back to the Shemanovsky Museum in Salekhard, Russia. But not before our mammoth experts Adrian Lister and Tori Herridge sneak a closer scientific look on Monday, when she's out of her display case. Adrian will also grab the chance to examine the massive Columbian mammoth skull specimen (below) before it goes.

This enormous Columbian mammoth's skull and tusks were dug up in 1960 in Wyoming. Our mammoth expert Adrian Lister will take a closer look before it leaves us.


Enjoy a few last exhibition highlights in these pictures.


Neverending tusks: After Sunday most of the specimens and models will be packed up in 11 enormous shipping containers to sail away to Cleveland, USA, where the exhibition opens next.
mammoth-man-tall.jpgLost in mammoth space... The exhibition has been a hit with kids and adults alike.
mammoths-cat-1500.jpgChildren rush voraciously to touch the big ice age models in the exhibition and be photographed with the iconic beasts (but bear in mind Lyuba can't be touched or photographed as she is the real thing and too fragile).


Accompanying the exhibition this summer have been the entertaining Mammoths workshops, which continue to run through the autumn.

mammoths-workshop-kids-1500.jpgMore interactive fun continues at our drop-in Hands on Mammoths workshops through the autumn.


You can find out more about why mammoths disappeared in our Last of the Mammoths video on YouTube. And there are amazing exhibits lurking in our permanent Mammals gallery, including London's Ilford mammoth.



Like dinosaurs, mammoths have attained mythical status in our mindsets. Their lumbering-trunk-appeal is bound to herd in young and old visitors over the coming months to our latest exhibition, which is now open just in time for the half-term school holiday.



The most mammoth of all the different mammoth species, the Colombian, is sure to wow young and old.


Like a kid, after my first peek into the Mammoths: Ice Age Giants exhibition, I confess I'm still awed by the ginormousness of the exhibits and specimens. None of the early images I've seen in the lead-up truly convey the sheer size of these beasts and their characteristic body parts. This is a physical experience you need to go through yourself, to feel their presence and grasp their world.



Meet the early proboscideans - the first section of the exhibition is a touch-filled experience.


What's suprising too are all the different shapes and sizes that mammoths and their relatives come in. The spectacular show of proboscidean heads - showing the earlier predecessors of mammoths and elephants and the development of their trunks - makes a spectacular entrance.



The 42,000 year old remains of Lyuba, the baby woolly mammoth, are on display outside Russia and Asia for the very first time.


And of course, standing close to the enigmatic baby woolly mammoth, Lyuba, surrounded by displays that tell her story, is a unique thrill... As is turning a corner on your exhibition journey and coming face to face with a fearsome sabre-toothed cat and giant short-nosed bear (the biggest bear ever), two top predators of mammoths during the Ice Age.



The biggest bear ever and the fearsome sabre-toothed cat were large enough to take on mammoths.


Along with the big encounters, there are many little pleasures for small hands. Try and lift a mechanical trunk, pick up a heavy hay bale and do a spot of tusk jousting. It's not as easy as you think being a 5 metre tall mammoth.



How easy is it to control a long proboscis? Find out with these mechanical mimics.


There are many amazing specimens and fossils to linger beside, ranging from woolly mammoth fur, mammoth molars and poo... to the imposing American mastodon skeleton and the stunning African Savannah elephant skull towards the end of the exhibition.



An imposing American mastodon skeleton.


Elephants are the modern relatives of mammoths and the exhibition also examines this connection and their plight in the modern world.



An African elephant skull demonstrates the similarities between them and their mammoth relatives.


Look out for the skulls and specimens of other Ice Age animals that lived at the time of mammoths. My favourite is this pronghorn antelope skull and there's even a tiny cotton-tail rabbit skull that provides a stark contrast to the giants surrounding you.



The pronghorn antelope skull from one of the many animals that co-existed with the mammoths.



Museum mammoths expert, Adrian Lister, and exhibition project manager, Becca Jones, celebrate the opening at our VIP event.


Mammoths: Ice Age Giants is opent at the Museum until 7 September 2014. As The Times said of the exhibition: '...this is a family show to trumpet about.'



This exhibition was created by The Field Museum, Chicago.