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Victoria Connection Magazine

Extinct Texas Animals

Get to know the creatures that roamed our land more than 11,000 years ago

On Saturday, July 16, from 10am-4pm, the Museum of the Coastal Bend hosts “Extinct Texas Animals,” a public event exploring the creatures that roamed our land thousands of years ago. Animals such as mammoths, sabertooth cats, and giant sloths lived here during the Pleistocene, the period of ice ages, huge mammals, and human beings. The Pleistocene ended about 11,500 years ago, but at the museum event, visitors can glimpse some of the animals that disappeared. Museum visitors can participate in hands-on activities designed to give a clearer picture of a few of the unique animals that used to call Texas home. • Mammoth hunting: The earliest Texans shared this land with mammoths and mastodons, which stood up to 14 feet tall. Use an atlatl, an ancient spear-thrower, to see if you can hit a life-size mammoth target! • Skull art: Make crayon rubbings of skulls from animals that lived in Pleistocene Texas, such as the sabertooth cat, dire wolf, and giant sloth. • Tree of life: Biologists group animals together into different families. Sort out the pieces of the family tree to show how some extinct Texas animals are related to modern-day creatures. Visitors can also learn about paleobiology—the study of ancient life—from Victoria College professor Matt Wiley, who will display skull replicas and other materials.