Unlike dinosaurs and other prehistoric mammals, mastodons and mammoths lived side by side with humans for thousands of years.
Created by The Field Museum, Chicago, Mammoths of the Ice Age looks at the differences between mammoths and mastodons, examining their social behaviour and ecology based on fossil evidence and comparisons with their present-day relatives, the elephants. Mastodons were shorter and stockier than mammoths, with thicker bones and differently shaped tusks. In North America, mastodons lived alongside mammoths because they had different diets and so did not compete for food, with a mammoth consuming an estimated 226 kilogrammes of vegetation every day.
Mammoths and mastodons proved to be a source of food for early people as well as artistic inspiration. Visitors will see these great beasts through the eyes of ancient humans as they examine artwork depicting mammoths in the form of miniature carvings made of bone, stone and mammoth ivory. This early human artwork on display dates from between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago and is some of the oldest art in existence.
Also on display is a replica model of Lyuba, the 40,000-year old baby mammoth who was found in 2007 by a Siberian reindeer herder and two of his sons. She is the best-preserved mammoth ever discovered, with most of her features intact, providing great insights into how mammoths lived.
Exploring why mammoths may have died out, Mammoths of the Ice Age investigates the theories surrounding their extinction, such as climate change, hunting by humans, cross-species disease and a meteorite hitting the Earth.
National Museum of Scotland Website