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The most complete mastodon skull found and known to be on display in Missouri - along with numerous fossils, a mollusk collection and a history of microscopy - are among the exhibits featured in Northwest's Darwin Museum of Life Sciences.
According to Dr. Gregg Dieringer, chairman of the biological sciences department, the mastodon skull is about 10,000 years old. It was discovered a few years ago on Clear Creek in Nodaway County.
"It is a wonderful gift to the University and the department and the centerpiece of a museum that highlights the diversity of our programs," Dieringer said.
According to Dr. David Easterla, distinguished university professor of biology, the skull came from a mature adult about the size of a modern Indian elephant. Its giant tusks, the sockets of which are still clearly visible, would have been about 9 feet long.
The museum space, created when the Garrett-Strong Science Building was renovated, serves as home for numerous displays related to various disciplines within the biological sciences.
Those who contributed funds used to purchase and display the skull include Linda Borgedlan Baer, Arizona; John H. and Florence Haggard, Parkville; and Bank Midwest, Drs. Robert and Betty Bush, Dr. David and Debbie Easterla and Dr. George and Juanita English, all of Maryville.
Regular hours are from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call (660) 562-1388 (ext. 1388 on campus).