CollectA Deinotherium – Marvelous Model for a “Terrible Beast!”

African Elephants have always been my favorite living animal and are part of a proud, diverse family that can be traced over much of the planet. These Proboscideans included some of the Earth’s largest land mammals with the subject of today’s review one of its most impressive. Deinotherium dominated Africa as well as Eurasia approximately 10 million to 10,000 years ago, possibly crossing paths with early humans. Its name means “terrible beast” and was larger than modern elephants though with a shorter trunk. Its most distinguishing characteristic, however, were its tusks that curved downward from its lower jaw. In most other members of the elephant family, tusks jut from the upper jaw and curve in the opposite direction. The reason Deinotherium’s evolved this way is still up for debate with some suggesting they were designed for digging out roots and tubers much like a backhoe. Another notable featured that differed from its more dome-headed cousins was a nearly flat skull.

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Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age Traveling Exhibit!

alt="Dave Fuentes Columbian Mammoth

In 2015 I got a chance to see Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, a traveling exhibit that made its way to my local Field Museum of Natural History. Just as the named implied, the exhibit focused on the amazing relatives (not ancestors) of elephants, the Proboscideans. Personally, I try and visit this Museum at least twice a year and have enjoyed many of their temporary exhibits. This one was by far my favorite and, should it ever make its way to your neck of the woods, you should definitely check it out! Not only was it highly informative and visually appealing, but also encouraged visitors to touch and take photos with many of its lifelike models – definitely not the norm for museums. Continue reading