Short-legged Rhino

Short-legged Rhino

The University of Nebraska State Museum, established in 1871, is an excellent place to learn about the state’s natural history. Elephant Hall, for example, documents the evolution of elephants. Who knew that elephant fossils have been found in 90 of Nebraska’s 93 counties? Another big deal is a mammoth skeleton, said to be the largest in any American museum. Mammoths are the Nebraska state fossil. Likewise, I had no idea that rhino fossils are found in Nebraska. Interestingly, since 1960 the Nebraska Department of Roads and the University of Nebraska State Museum have worked cooperatively to prevent the destruction of fossils uncovered during highway construction. This highway paleontology program has preserved a large number of unique fossil specimens. In the hall devoted to exploring evolution, I focused on the excellent poster outlining finch diversity in the Galapagos Islands. In the First Peoples of the Plains Gallery I learned about the different shelters used by the native peoples living on the plains. Did you know that a teepee weighed approximately 580 pounds? It was interesting to tour the University of Nebraska State Museum while University students were looking for answers to a several paged assignment. AAA notes this museum as a gem. Another of their gems in Lincoln is the Nebraska History Museum. Unfortunately, this museum is closed for renovations and not expected to open until spring 2016.

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