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Ice Age comes alive in new exhibit

A new exhibit at The North Carolina Arboretum, After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals and Ice, unlocks the mysteries of the Ice Age with creatures that roamed the earth more than 20,000 years ago. 

Real fossils and teeth from ancient animals like the sabertooth cat and short-faced bear provide hands-on experiences, and robotic replicas of the woolly mammoth, giant sloth, and giant beaver make the Ice Age come alive like never before. Focused on the flora and fauna of North America, the exhibit tells compelling, educational stories, and piques the curiosity of visitors to learn more about this fascinating time in history. 

Interactive displays make the drama of the gigantic titans that dominated the age accessible to all. Visitors can take a look at a baby mammoth tusk and see woolly mammoth hair with bits of plant material still imbedded from when the animal lived. The smooth, hard ivory of a big woolly mammoth tusk will prompt children and adults alike to explore the similarities between the prehistoric creature and the modern-day elephant. 

Visitors will learn how glaciers formed and how they moved. Graphic displays illustrate the glacial size and ice depth in North America, allowing children to discover if where they live now was at one time covered in ice. A 3-D mastodon puzzle introduces students to ancient animal anatomy, and those who are truly brave can attempt to put together the sabertooth cat. 

To broaden the visitor experience, an exhibit called On the Edge of the Great Ice will be featured in the Baker Exhibit Center Greenhouse. Designed and produced by Arboretum staff, the exhibit offers an intriguing glimpse into ancient plant life that once lived throughout North America and the Appalachian region.

After the Dinosaurs will be on display at The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville through Jan. 6. 828.665.2492 or