Riverside County's premiere Natural History museum, Western Science Center, is home to both permanent and special exhibits along with educational programming promoting scientific knowledge.
With an extensive collection of Ice Age fossils, as well as archaeological artifacts, the Western Science Center is the perfect place to discover the past and explore the future! Follow us on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/WesternCenter Visit Dr. Alton Dooley's Director's Blog at: http://valleyofthemastodon.wordpress.com/
Operating as usual
Special holiday delivery from our mastodon-drawn sleigh! A Fossil Journey: The Story of the Pacific Mastodon, is a new illustrated children's book aims to make scientific papers digestible for young readers.
Written by WSC educators Dr. Brett S. Dooley and Krystle Drouault, and illustrated by Montana State University student and WSC volunteer Charlotte J.H. Hohman, The Story of the Pacific Mastodon chronicles the discovery of Max the Mastodon in Hemet, CA, and explores how scientists used this amazing fossil to eventually name an entirely new species.
The Kindle edition is available now for $9.99 - paperback edition coming soon!
amazon.com A Fossil Journey: The Story of the Pacific Mastodon (Fossil Journeys)
Happy #FossilFriday from our cast of a juvenile Chasmosaurus! This little baby ceratopsid made a guest appearance during one of our special outdoor events this past summer.
It's Monday. Again. But that's a good thing because it means it's #MastodonMonday, courtesy of Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley! Thi is the right foreleg of a female Pacific Mastodon from Oceanside, CA. This specimen from San Diego Natural History Museum includes more material and is one of the most complete Pacific mastodons known.
Happy #WhaleWednesday! You might already know that we have a giant whale fossil named Mystic outside of our museum - but you might not know that we’ve continued working on prepping it during our closure to the public! Thanks to our amazing volunteers and staff, a ton of progress has been made on this amazing fossil - but there’s still several years of work to go. 🐋 In this jacket you can see ribs and vertebra that are gradually being exposed as prep work continues.
Happy #MastodonMonday! Last week we announced the discovery of a Pacific mastodon in Montana - catch up on the museum's latest research with the Museum of the Rockies on our blog, written by lead author and curator Dr. Andrew McDonald.
Original Pacific mastodon artwork by Brian Engh Art.
WSC Curator Dr. Andrew McDonald, lead author of new research published earlier this week in PeerJ, goes in depth into the discovery of a Pacific mastodon in Montana on our museum blog! #FossilFriday
westernsciencecenter.org by Curator Dr. Andrew McDonald The Pleistocene Epoch saw many profound changes in North America. Humans arrived on the continent. Vast territories were covered by ice sheets, and as glaciers advanced and retreated, so too did habitats and the animals living in them. Mastodons swaggered across
Are you looking for virtual science education options? The Western Science Center is proud to present our new Virtual Field Trip program! Our aim is to provide an environment where kids are free to discover, explore, and interact with the natural history of the Diamond Valley Lake region and beyond, now in an online space.
Virtual Field Trips include exhibit tour videos, live virtual sessions with museum staff, and more, with optional lab activities available. Go to our website for more information on how to book a Virtual Field Trip with the museum!
Book now at https://www.westernsciencecenter.org/wschome-virtual-field-trips.
It's a very special #MastodonMonday here at the Western Science Center, thanks to new research published today in the open access journal PeerJ that reveals the Pacific mastodon has been found in Pleistocene eastern Montana!
A specimen from the Museum of the Rockies demonstrates the extremely narrow molars typical of the Pacific mastodon, and is the first confirmation of Mammut pacificus found outside of California and Idaho.
Congratulations to authors WSC Curator Andrew McDonald, MOR Collections Manager Amy Atwater, WSC Executive Director Alton Dooley, and Montana State University undergraduate student Charlotte Hohman.
Read the paper for free here: https://peerj.com/articles/10030/
Happy #FossilFriday the 13th! This is the left calcaneum (heel bone) from a Pleistocene grasshopper mouse (Onochomys sp.), one of the more terrifying Pleistocene predators - they are voracious predators of scorpions, insects, and other mice! Small divisions on scale bar are 0.1 mm. Found in Temecula, CA and now housed in the Western Science Center collections.
Happy #MastodonMonday from our Executive Director! Today he's featuring this rather worn, beaten-up lower 2nd molar from a Pacific mastodon found in Humboldt Co. California in 1915. Even though it's heavily worn, the intact root indicated that this tooth was never shed! This tooth is now housed at University of California Museum of Paleontology.
Western Science Center's cover photo
Thanks to everyone (people and dinosaurs alike!) who joined us for [email protected]: Windows Into The Past this past weekend! It was great seeing our community enjoy our exhibits safely - stay tuned for more virtual and outdoor events in the coming months!
Our amazing team of staff and volunteers is setting up for tonight's outdoor event [email protected]: Windows Into The Past! Our office windows have been transformed into safe and fun exhibit spaces; come see fossils, our Mobile Museum, and more!
There are still time slots available at WesternScienceCenter.org; reservations are required and tickets are $5 per person.
It's #FossilFriday, and this Homotherium fossil (commonly known as a scimitar-toothed cat) will be on display in our office windows tomorrow during our outdoor event [email protected]: Windows Into The Past! This Pleistocene cat was found at the Southern California Edison (SCE) El Casco substation here in Riverside County.
To see this fossil and many others, make sure to reserve your time slot today before they're gone: https://bit.ly/34f6zXX
Happy #WhaleWednesday! Mystic, our fossil whale, is still being prepared outside by our diligent team of staff and volunteers, & you can watch the process in person this Saturday at our outdoor event [email protected]: Windows Into The Past!
Reserve your time slot today, space is limited: https://bit.ly/34f6zXX
Miss our museum? Due to popular demand, our new outdoor event [email protected]: Windows Into The Past has returned! Explore our collections safely as you walk past exhibits set up in our office windows and more.
Reserve your time slot today, space is limited: https://bit.ly/34f6zXX
Happy #MastodonMonday* from Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley! This partial #PacificMastodon 4th premolar or 1st molar was discovered in 1994 during construction of the Metro Los Angeles B-line and is now housed at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
*Yes, it is indeed Monday already, and we are sorry to have reminded you.
Happy #FossilFriday! WSC volunteer and Montana State University undergraduate Charlotte Hohman virtually presented her research on Ice Age horses this week at the 2020 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference, and we asked her to share on our blog!
We're hosting a National Fossil Day: "Let's Tour!" Livestream along with the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, and you can get a behind the scenes look into our collections and meet our paleontologists at 4PM PST today! Just go to www.youtube.com/alfmuseumpaleo to learn all about the amazing collections we house and study here in the heart of the Inland Empire.
Tomorrow is National Fossil Day! Our "Let's Tour!" livestream event, organized in partnership with the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, begins at 8am Pacific Time and then we'll be virtually visiting our friends at other museums every hour. Be sure to stick around because we'll have a Q&A with our virtual hosts at their museums at the end of each tour.
Got questions, but can't make the livestreams? Send us your questions in the comments.
All livestreams will be recorded and will be immediately available for viewing on our YouTube channel following the live portion.
Watch or set a reminder for each virtual tour here: https://www.youtube.com/c/AlfMuseumPaleo
Join us and the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology this Wednesday as we go behind the scenes of museums across the country for National Fossil Day. Learn more about the museums we'll be visiting for our Let's Tour! Livestream!
Wednesday is #NationalFossilDay! Join the Alf Museum and Western Science Center as we go behind-the-exhibits of 9 special museum collections across the US and meet the paleontologists who care for the fossils kept within. Learn more about the museums we'll be visiting for our Let's Tour! Livestream!
National Fossil Day is next Wednesday! Join the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and Western Science Center as we take a virtual behind-the-exhibits tour of museums across the US and meet the paleontologists who care for them! Be sure to tune in for the live episodes for special Q&A's with our guest paleontologists.
All times listed in Pacific Time (UTC-8:00)
National Fossil Day is brought to you by the National Park Service.
Collections are coming in and WSC collections manager Darla Radford is sharing this amazing piece of local history! “This beautiful enamel license plate was found during monitoring for a road expansion project in Riverside County, CA. It dates to 1919 which was the last year of this particular design. California first began requiring vehicles to be registered in 1905 but it wasn't until 1914 that state-made license plates were produced. Prior to that, owners had to make their own license plates!”
It's another #MastodonMonday from Dr. Alton Dooley! Today's feature is a probable female Pacific Mastodon neck vertebra in side view. Like most animals with large, heavy heads, mastodons have shortened neck vertebrae. This specimen is from the Diamond Valley Lake collection here at the Western Science Center.
Mention the Western Science Center when you eat at Lemongrass Asian Cuisine this Friday through Sunday and 100% of the proceeds from your meal will support the museum during our closure! We are so thankful for the generosity of community partners like Lemongrass.
Thank you to all of our visitors who joined us this past weekend for [email protected]: Windows Into The Past! Our first event in six months was a huge success thanks to the support of our community - and we can't wait to do it again soon! Thank you again to everyone who joined us to learn science in a safe, outdoor environment while our main exhibits are closed.
Welcome to our first museum visitors since March, who are enjoying our new outdoor event, [email protected]: Windows Into The Past!
Thanks to a cancellation, we have ONE timeslot open at 6:20PM for tonight's [email protected]: Windows Into The Past event! Get it fast before it's gone!
westernsciencecenter.org Thank you for your interest in attending our first [email protected]: Windows into the Past outdoor event! All of our time slots are now sold out, but fill out the form below to be the first to know when we open up time slots for another upcoming event.
Get ready to see fossils and artifacts from the ancient past again - our staff is hard at work getting ready for [email protected]: Windows Into The Past, which is now SOLD OUT!
We are so thankful for the support of our community during our closure, and we can't wait to welcome guests back safely during this special outdoor event.
Our dig site will also be on display during the event, and Lab Manager Leya Collins shows off a giant ground sloth claw that will just be one of many fossils you'll be able to see again this Saturday!
Woo! #TGIFossilFriday! Join our hosts, Brittney and Gabe, and guest paleontologist, Michelle Barboza, this morning at 10am PT on YouTube as we chat about the importance to teaching natural history to the next generation!
Brought to you by the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and Western Science Center.
There are many paths one can take when you are paleontologist! Research, museums, teaching! In this episode, paleontologist and new co-host of PBS Eons, Mich...
#TGIFossilFriday! We are back with more episodes of FCC starting this morning at 10am PT! Join us on YouTube as we chat with Dr. Grant Zazula about "Yukon's Fossil Rush"!
And remember to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications for all future episodes of Fossil Friday Chats!
On this episode, we are joined by paleontologist, Dr. Grant Zazula, as we chat about Yukon's Fossil Rush! Since the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, scienti...
Learn more about our favorite prehistoric animal, the mastodon, with our friends from the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre!
Live for Mysteries of the Mastodons!
Happy #FossilFriday! Here’s a ground level view of the mighty Pacific mastodon - our favorite proboscideans stood over ten feet at the shoulder. If you want to learn more about mastodons, be sure to check out the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre’s upcoming livestream Mysteries of the Mastodon featuring WSC Executive Director Dr. Alton Dooley!
Fossil Friday Chats is moving to YouTube Live!
Starting next Friday, you can catch FFC on our YouTube channel! We'll be streaming Fridays at 10am Pacific time. So subscribe to our channel to catch all the chats with all of our upcoming guest scientists!
Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/alfmuseumpaleo
Fossil Friday Chats is brought to you by the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and the Western Science Center.
Tooth comparison from Dr. Alton Dooley on #MastodonMonday! Left is a lower right 3rd molar from a #PacificMastodon (“Max”) from California, right is the same tooth (from the opposite side) from an #AmericanMastodon from Ohio, same scale (length of Max's tooth 187.1 mm). These are extreme examples, but they illustrate one of the big differences between Pacific and American mastodons!
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