Muzeum Ziemi


Large Mammals of the Ice Age

The exhibition is dedicated to large mammals that lived in the territory of Poland in the Quaternary, during the Pleistocene, often referred to as the Ice Age. This relatively short – in geological terms – period of around 2.5 million years was characterized by several violent cycles of climate warming and cooling in a global scale that had a direct impact on the expansion of the world of plants and animals. In the Pleistocene sediments many remains of plants and animals have been preserved and among them numerous large mammal bones that allow for reconstruction of these meaningful changes to the natural environment. The exhibition presents mammalian remains discovered in different parts of Poland (also in Warsaw) from glacial and interglacial periods. Remains of cryophilic animals typical for glacial periods presented in the exhibition include: mammoth skeleton (Mammuthus primigenius), woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) and steppe bison (Bison priscus). Thermophilic animals, typical for interglacial periods – warmer than modern times – are represented by: the remains of a straight-tusked elephant, one of the world’s largest Elephantidae species (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), the skull of forest rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus kirchbergensis) one of the four preserved in the world! as well as the skull and bones of an aurochs (Bos primigenius), which lasted until the historical times and the last one died out in 1627, about 40 kilometers west of Warsaw.

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