Dr. Steve Rowland (above) gave a great talk at UNLV about the prehistoric animals and geology of Tule Springs in the north part of the Las Vegas Valley. It may be hard to believe, but 20,000 years ago Las Vegas was the home of giant sloths, mammoths, camels, horses and dire wolves. Click on the arrow to the right to hear the entire talk.
Above is the skeleton of a Columbian Mammoth just like those that roamed prehistoric Las Vegas. You can find fossils of a number of the prehistoric mammals from the Las Vegas area in our collections.
A New Name for Our Giant Crocodile
Scientists are always making new discoveries. Sometimes, they find out things that change what they thought they knew. Something that happens quite often is putting new names on old animals. New fossil evidence often proves that a dinosaur or other prehistoric creature is actually the same as one that was previously named. In science, it is always the first name given to a new animal that is used. That's why we don't have Brontosaurus any more, it is now called Apatosaurus. And our giant crocodile skull, the one we have called Phobosuchus for over a decade, has a new name. Meet Deinosuchus. To introduce his new name, we have a wonderful new mural, created by world renowned artist Julius Csotonyi.
An Amazing Video of a Prehistoric Crocodile
Evan Boucher was a graduate student working at the laboratory of Dr. Ken Lacovara at Drexel University. In addition to his passion for prehistoric creatures, Evan loves movies - especially animated films. A talented artist, Evan created the video below as his thesis project for his Masters Degree. The video did two big things. First, it showed how the new types of imaging being used to study fossils can show scientists how dinosaurs moved and behaved. Second, it got Evan his dream job - the folks at DreamWorks studios saw the video and hired Evan as an animator! This is an HD video, so check it out Full Screen.