Ice Ages at the State Museum

NYS Museum Ice Ages exhibit

The State Museum opened a new exhibit last week -- Ice Ages -- that is about... well... ice ages in New York. (Surprise!) It's back by the Cohoes Mastodon and worth a stop the next you're at the time museum. It'll be on display until the beginning of 2019.

We got a chance to check out the exhibit recently. And now let us quickly nerd out on a few things from it...

A lot of ice
You probably know the basics of ice ages. The climate takes an extended cold swing. Huge glaciers spread across the land. But it's kind of hard to wrap your head around just how big the glaciers were. As the exhibit points out, during an ice age 24,000 years ago the glacier covering the Albany was 1.5 miles tall.

Ice ages, plural
By examining deposits extracted near Union Springs, New York, State Museum scientists have identified six different glacial cycles that cover New York.

By the way, one of the techniques used for dating these deposits is called "optically stimulated luminescence" in which scientist use the escape of photons trapped in the quartz to estimate the date of the material.

NYS Museum Ice Ages exhibit Columbian Mammoth skull

Mastodons and mammoths are not the same thing
This is a point made in the Cohoes Mastodon exhibit, and maybe you already knew it. (Nerd.) But Ice Ages highlights this fact by exhibiting the museums's Columbian mammoth skull and tusk, along with other displays. It appears mammoths were not as common here as mastodons. (Mammoths are more closely related to modern elephants than mastodons.)

Unusual animals
The exhibit highlights the different animals that lived across New York during the ice ages, some of which are extinct, others that still exist elsewhere. Among the extinct animals: a giant beaver species that grew to 8 feet long and weighed as much as 275 pounds. (There's a replica skull on display.) But get this: The giant beaver's teeth weren't sharp -- so it couldn't cut down trees.

Another weird extinct animal that lived here: Jefferson's Ground Sloth, that grew to more than 9 feet in length.

Comments

The NYS Museum's next Science Cafe will center around this exhibit too! Feb 9 at The Hollow in Downtown. http://downtownalbany.org/events/science-cafe-ice-ages

Cool to see a new exhibit! Anyone have any idea how old the Adirondack Wilderness exhibit is? I remember it from the mid 90s and I look forward to showing my grandkids a dusty stuffed wolf in the next century.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Gawking at the new Schenectady train station

In a bit of a surprise the new Schenectady train station opened this past Wednesday, a few weeks ahead of the announced schedule. The $23... (more)

A little push up the hill

Wrapped into my update this past week about what it's been like to use a bike as one of my primary ways of getting around... (more)

A collection of castle day trips

This part of the country is dotted with castle-like structures, full of history, mystery, romance, and fairytale. Here's a handful of castles that are within... (more)

Classics of Science Fiction at The Linda

A multi-day get-together called Classics of Science Fiction will be at The Linda in Albany November 1-4. Blurbage: Guests include authors, artists, podcasters, cosplayers, business... (more)

Cuomo leads in Q-poll, NTSB still hasn't examined limo from deadly Schoharie crash, Schenectady and GE

Q-poll shows Cuomo with strong lead The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows Andrew Cuomo with a 23-percentage point lead over Republican challenger Marc Molinaro. [Spectrum]... (more)

Recent Comments

I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

A little push up the hill

...has 1 comment, most recently from Danny C

Today's moment of mural

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

A year later I'm still using a bike to get around town -- here are a few thoughts about how that's worked out

...has 13 comments, most recently from Randal Putnam

It's looking like it could be a relatively warm winter. Probably.

...has 2 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Now is a good time to get a flu shot

...has 5 comments, most recently from Beck