Activity 7: Do at the Museum!

Ice Age Mud from an Ancient Pond


[Draw the things you find here]
What was New York like 12,000 years ago when mastodons wandered the land? If you could go back in time, what other animals and plants would you see?

By sorting through a sample of Ice Age mud collected from around the bones of a mastodon you will be able to create a picture of Ice Age life. As you explore the mud you will find clues about the environment the hairy elephant lived in.

Use the pictures in your booklet to identify some of the different kinds of rocks and pieces of plants that you find. Sort the twigs and rocks into separate containers and use the plastic baggies for any thing unusual that you find.

Draw a few of the things that you've found in your booklet.

What do you find lots of and what things do you only see a few of?

What was the environment like at the end of the Ice Age? If you could travel 12,000 years back in time what clothes would you be sure to bring?

Extension: Draw a picture of this mastodon's home based on what you discovered in the mud.

Fact: During the last Ice Age glaciers a mile thick covered much of New York State!

Main Message: This activity demonstrates that fossil organisms lived in environments and that clues about environment are preserved in the sediment.

Connections: Activity 2, "What Doesn't Belong?", will help students classify rocks in the mud and determine how they might have gotten there.


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Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-273-6623 fax: 607-273-6620
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