Trailside Museum plans grand opening Aug. 4 for mammoth exhibit

Released on 07/18/2006, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 4, 2006

WHERE: Trailside Museum of Natural History, Fort Robinson State Park, near Crawford

Lincoln, Neb., July 18th, 2006 —

The Trailside Museum of Natural History at Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford will celebrate the grand opening of its new exhibit "Clash of the Mammoths" beginning at 11 a.m. MDT Aug. 4.

The grand opening celebration will include a ribbon cutting and remarks by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Priscilla Grew, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum, and Mark Harris, assistant director of the museum. There will be no admission charged at the museum from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Aug. 4 for the celebration.

The exhibit features the fossils of two mammoths whose tusks locked together during an Ice Age battle for dominance. They fell to earth while still locked together, were unable to separate and died where they fell.

In April, the fossils made their long-awaited return to their Ice Age stomping ground for the first time since the skeletal remains were discovered in the Little Badlands near Crawford in 1962. Visitors to Trailside have been able to view the exhibit as a work in progress since April as paleontologists from the NU State Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln installed the fragile mammoth fossils into the exhibit, a setting that replicates an actual dig site, simulating the excavation experience for museum visitors.

The mammoth skulls and tusks were housed in the NU State Museum's research facility at UNL since their discovery, anticipating an eventual return to western Nebraska. Renewed community interest and enthusiasm for the titans fueled the support needed for museum scientists to revive plans to return the one-of-a-kind fossils to the region.

In addition to the new exhibit, further improvements at the Trailside Museum include a new mammoth mural by Nebraska artist Mark Marcuson. Marcuson is known for his murals featured throughout the State Museum at Morrill Hall on the UNL campus, including the notable mural in Elephant Hall, portraying Ice Age mammoths along the Platte River.

The Trailside Museum is an affiliate of the NU State Museum. Regular admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children, or a family for $6. Trailside Museum summer hours begin on Memorial Day and continue through Labor Day: open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MDT). For visitor information, telephone (308) 665-2929 or visit

CONTACT: Mark Harris, Associate Director, University of Nebraska State Museum, (402) 472-6699; or
Susan Veskerna, Museum Associate, Trailside Museum, (308) 665-2929