DMNS EDUCATES ABOUT ANIMAL HISTORY
Today’s generation of kids are constantly living on the edge of excitement, living and breathing for anything bizarre and somewhat weird. All of this and more describes what can be found at a new exhibit, Extreme Mammals, now showing at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Most of these creatures sound mythical, but nothing is mysterious about the traces they’ve left behind from millions of years ago. With more than 5,400 mammal species roaming the earth ranging from nearly microscopic to out of this world, the DMNS is out to teach the community the importance of the conservation of these endangered creatures, as well as the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of largest mammals on the planet.
The first feat worth mentioning is the life-size mammal replica of the largest extinct mammal (once) on earth, the Indricotherium. Easily towering above the rest, it was over 15 feet tall and weighed in at a monumental 20 tons, meaning this heavy critter weighed the same as 20 semi trucks put together. This massive relative of the well-known rhinoceros may be extinct, but visitors get a glimpse at what it’s like to encounter a beast from the past.
More than anything, this exhibit is out to educate families about the importance of conservation and protecting the rarest species currently in the wild by way of massive play areas, interactive touch exhibits, and video screens. Aside from featuring animals that are now long gone, the exhibits show a vast majority of mammals that are seen and loved in modern times.
Visitors will encounter one of the most intriguing components of the exhibit: reproduction. As the most important component of keeping endangered animals alive, the exhibit goes through the life cycle of a young animal like a joey, the baby of a kangaroo. This animal related to the same marsupial clan such as the koala, and both species reside in their mother’s pouch for warmth, protection, and motherly love for a whopping 11 months.
With exhibits ranging from conservation to different moving mechanisms, there’s a lot more to mammals than what meets eye. Along the exhibit are the remains of the different fossils of elegant but extinct animals such as the Vulpavus, a carnivorous-like e that wades through the water and lurks among the trees waiting for its next victim.
The exhibit may be fitting for the youngest of tots, but it boasts activities for all ages. Kids can get the chance to dress in extinct herbivores’ skeletons, touch the teeth of large-jawed critters, and crawl through the bones of earth’s original pioneers.
The exhibit may not feature colourful unicorns and zealous jackalopes, but there are an abundance of animals that are never encountered in daily life. Many of them may be long gone, but make sure to grab a map, adventure hat, and camera, because this exhibit will stop visitors in seeking the adventure of a lifetime in their tracks.