Skeletons of a dire wolf, saber tooth cat, and a giant ground sloth from the famed La Brea “Tar Pits” are featured. These skeletons, as well as other bones from the deposits, were collected by the first collegiate graduate of McPherson College – James Zacchaeus Gilbert.
Gilbert moved to California and taught biology and zoology at Los Angeles High School. He and his students did the first large-scale excavations of the deposits. The bones he collected became the nucleus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Gilbert was allowed to keep duplicate bones and some of these he donated to McPherson College.
Take in the large wall mural depicting the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles 40,000 years ago. You will see the megafauna easily but look closer for the details that you might miss otherwise. Can you find the insects, mice, snakes, birds, and the chattering squirrel?
Ice Age fossils of mammoth and mastodons are on display including a mammoth tusk over six feet long and a rare shovel tusk mastodon jaw. These were found in McPherson County and other places in Kansas.