Mammoth and mastodon fossils on loan from public museum
The Department of Geology has acquired mammoth and mastodon pieces on loan from the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The pieces include a skeletal foot, lower jaw and tusk, which are on display in a case outside room 130 in Padnos Hall of Science.
Geology instructor John VanRegenmorter worked with museum officials to secure the pieces for a one-year loan with an option to renew it.
"The mastodon lower jaw shows excellent growth and development features," said VanRegenmorter. "We also have a mounted mastodon foot — a great visualizer of how big these critters really were. And, a mammoth tusk, sliced lengthwise down the middle, and in two pieces. Wonderful for display, but also to show growth and development."
Geology students Hunter Golat and Jared Winn designed the informational plaques for the display.
VanRegenmorter said the pieces draw attention to the amazing history of the Great Lakes Region. "As iconic as they are, most everyone will be familiar with them and how they relate to Michigan’s past, especially after all the 'Ice Age' movies," he said.
The Geology Department also worked with GRPM curatorial staff members to arrange for the pieces to be removed, under supervision, to use for classroom learning.