Iowa's ice age giants

Iowa's ice age giants

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Exhibit opens Thursday at Old Capitol Museum
A tiny chipmunk skull rests on the upper jaw of a wolfIowa's Ice Age Giants, an new exhibit at the University of Iowa Old Capitol Museum, opens Thursday, April 18. Photos by Tom Jorgensen.

Explore ice age Iowa and discover the giants that roamed the state's back yards some 15,000 years ago when the exhibit "Iowa's Ice Age Giants!" opens Thursday, April 18.

A special opening reception is scheduled from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Old Capitol Museum’s Pentacrest Gallery for Arts, Humanities, and Sciences. Attendees are encouraged to stay for a special University of Iowa Explorers Seminar in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber beginning at 7 p.m. Richard Baker, UI emeritus professor of geoscience, will discuss ice age research at the Snowmastadon Site in Colorado.

This special exhibit is a collaboration involving the UI Paleontology Repository, Department of Geoscience, Museum of Natural History, and Old Capitol Museum.

Featured fossils include fierce ice age predators such as the saber-toothed cat and giant short-faced bear as well as gentler giants like the woolly mammoth and giant ground sloth. Iowans discovered many of the specimens in their own backyards over the past several decades.

Bones also displayed are from recent large-scale excavations overseen by UI researchers at the Tarkio Valley Sloth Site in southwest Iowa and the Mahaska County Mammoth Site.

More information about the exhibit is available at the Museum of Natural History website or by calling 319-335-0606. More information is also available at the Old Capitol Museum website or by calling 319-335-0548. Both are units of UI Pentacrest Museums.

The Paleontology Repository is part of the UI Department of Geoscience, which is a unit of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Old Capitol Museum in advance at 319-335-0548.

Learn more about the exhibit at


Sarah Horgen, Pentacrest Museums, 319-335-0606


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