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.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + We gave away tickets for this year's Champagne on the Park by asking:... (more)

Today's moment of spring

Pretty sweet... for a crabapple.... (more)

Go see the tulips, don't wait

Important news: The Washington Park tulip beds are blooming. As of Friday afternoon we'd say about 65 percent of the tulips were in bloom, and... (more)

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Troy Music Hall

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will be at the Troy Music Hall October 7 for a show. Tickets go on sale... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

On your marks. Get set. Weekend. Before you go out, be sure and have rain boots, sun screen, and a heavy sweater handy -- this... (more)

Recent Comments

I feel that when people don't confront inappropriate behavior it sends a signal that it is tolerated. I often speak up in situations like these, depending on my reading of the situation. If we consider ourselves part of a community we all have a role to play in signaling what is and isn't appropriate behavior.

Thinking about affordable housing in Albany

...has 6 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 3 comments, most recently from KGB

The Fort Orange General Store is re-opening

...has 5 comments, most recently from Rich

Today's moment of spring

...has 1 comment, most recently from jsc

Old trees out, new trees soon

...has 1 comment, most recently from jsc