Mammals in the Extreme: The Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time Finally Have Emerged-And Are on View for All to See

USA TODAY, September 2009 | Go to article overview

Mammals in the Extreme: The Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time Finally Have Emerged-And Are on View for All to See


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

THE EXHIBITION "Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time" explores the surprising and often extraordinary world of extinct and living mammals. Featuring spectacular fossils and other specimens, vivid reconstructions, and live animals, it examines the ancestry and evolution of numerous species, ranging from huge to tiny, from speedy to sloth-like, and displays animals with oversized claws, fangs, snouts, and horns.

"Ranging from the familiar to the wildly exotic, mammals represent some of the most fascinating and extraordinary creatures ever to have lived, including, of course, humans," notes Ellen V. Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History. "By looking closely at this one amazing class of animals ... 'Extreme Mammals' offers visitors a fun and intriguing opportunity to learn about how life evolved, why ,animals may, despite sharing some key characteristics, look and behave so differently from one another, and how there can be such extraordinary diversity within a single group."

The exhibit examines how some lineages died out while others diversified to form the groups of well-known mammals living today. Highlights include taxidermy specimens--from the egg-laying platypus to the recently extinct Tasmanian wolf (also known as Tasmanian tiger)--and fleshed-out models of extinct forms, such as Ambulocetus, a "walking whale." There is an entire skeleton of the giant hoofed plant-eater Uintatberium, with its dagger-like teeth and multiple horns; the skeleton model of Puijila darwini, a newly discovered extinct "walking seal," from the High Arctic, with webbed feet instead of flippers; a life-size model of Indricotherium, the largest land mammal that ever lived; one of the oldest fossilized bats ever found; and an impressive diorama featuring the once warm and humid swamps and forests of Ellesmere Island, located in the High Arctic, about 50,000,000 years ago.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Through the use of dynamic media displays, animated computer interactives, hands-on activities, touchable fossils, casts, taxidermy specimens, and a colony of live sugar gliders--extreme marsupials from Australia--the exhibition highlights distinctive mammalian qualities and illuminates the shared ancestry that unites these diverse creatures.

"Mammals are old--as old as the dinosaurs, but all dinosaurs, except for the lineage that gave rise to living birds, went extinct 65,000,-000 years ago," explains Michael J. Novacek, curator of the Division of Paleontology. "Mammals survived this great extinction event and even further diversified, evolving into the wondrous and sometimes strange creatures that are still with us today. This exhibition not only brings us close to this great flourish of mammals present and past, it shows how mammals are powerful examples of evolution in action."

Adds "Extreme Mammals" curator John J. Flynn: "This exhibition highlights the striking array of living and fossil mammals, so our visitors can explore the remarkable diversity of species, anatomies, and ecological specializations that occur in mammals. Extinct mammals often are viewed with curiosity, awe, or admiration because they are so different from familiar living organisms. In 'Extreme Mammals,' such unusual taxa are compared to their ancestors, closest relatives, or contemporaries to document and explain what is 'normal' and what is 'extreme.' The exhibition focuses on the extraordinary qualities of extinct and living mammals, revealing them to be much more than just furry, warm-blooded animals that nourish their young with milk."

The exhibition is divided into nine sections: Introduction; What is a Mammal?; What is Extreme?; Head to Tail; Reproduction; Mammals in Motion; Extreme Climates; Extreme Isolation; and Extreme Extinction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Mammals in the Extreme: The Biggest, Smallest, and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time Finally Have Emerged-And Are on View for All to See
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.