Natural History Museum

Prehistoric Mammals of the Cenozoic

Herbivores and the Grass Roots Movement

Herbivores, including oreodonts, camels, and early horned ruminants, adapted to fit the expanding grasslands 50 million years ago.

Case #16. View case index

Horses - Before the Cart

Fossils of ancient horses such as Merychippus, Hyracotherium and Pliohippus are shown and placed on an evolutionary family tree.

Case #15. View case index

Carnivores - Diversify and Conquer

Carnivores such as saber-toothed cats and dire wolves overtook Creodonts as the top predators in the Oligocene, 35 million years ago.

Case #14. View case index

Pleistocene Extinctions - Close Encounters with Mankind

During the later Pleistocene, somewhere between 12,000 and 14,000 years ago, humans began migrating into North America. This exhibit examines the impact that humans may have had on North American mammals including mammoths, American lions and musk oxen.

Case #19. View case index

Giants - What's the Big Idea?

Some mammals such as mammoths, beavers, sloths, and rhinoceroses reached gigantic sizes during the Cenozoic, while other animals isolated on islands became pygmies.

Case #18. View case index

Proboscideans - Unforgettable Faces

Over 500 species of elephants, mammoths and mastodons have existed since the beginning of the Cenozoic, although only two remain today. Learn the differences between mammoths and mastodons.

Case #17. View case index