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Mammoth skeleton arrives for display at the Lafayette Science Museum

mammoth skeleton deliverd to museum.PNG
Posted at 3:17 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 16:19:22-05

A skeleton of mammoth proportions was delivered to the Lafayette Science Museum on Monday.

University students and volunteers helped unload the deconstructed Mammoth skeleton which will soon go on display at the museum located in Downtown Lafayette.

Dr. James Martin, Curator of Paleontology and research professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Geology Museum said the arrival of the mammoth is a big day for Lafayette.

"When I first came here many years ago, I felt that there were three majors fossils that the citizens of Louisiana should see: a mastodon, a mammoth and a giant whale."

Over the last five years, the museum has been able to acquire skeletons of the mastodon and giant whale for display. But the mammoth was still the final piece needed to complete the trio.

Before the pandemic, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Geology Museum, which is housed in the Lafayette Science Museum, worked with the science museum to procure a mammoth for Acadiana.

After being unloaded, Martin said that the mammoth skeleton will be cleaned, painted and mounted so that citizens of Louisiana can "see one of their own."

"This is a chance for people to see the magnitude and the beauty of animals that walked through Lafayette 10,000 years ago," Martin said. "We've got specimens of teeth from the Vermilion River, for instance, so you're going to see the magnitude of the animals that lived here. It's a special thing, I think."

Martin said that although the museum is closed to the public due to the pandemic, visitors can still pass by the front entrance and watch the work being done to get the mammoth ready for its first guests. The process to get the mammoth on display will take about two weeks.

"I'm excited to see science and research continuing on here in Lafayette," Martin said. "It's an important part of our heritage, it's an important part of our educational programs, so it's a great day for Lafayette."

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