200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 133: “The Jaw of a Mastodon ”

« Behind the Scenes

Captured on Film »

fossil lower jaw of an American mastodon

The Jaw of a Mastodon

Welcome to day two of Three Weeks Behind the Scenes, a 200 Stories photo essay of rarely seen treasures from the Academy’s collections, research labs, and living exhibits. Today we bring you a very special fossil jaw.

William Clark collected this partial lower jaw from an American mastodon (Mammut americanum) at Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, in 1807. This Ice Age fossil is one of about 100 specimens in the Thomas Jefferson Fossil Collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. These specimens were originally in the collections at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and came to the Academy in the 1840s.

Fossils are big at the Academy, and you can see them being prepared daily in our Fossil Prep Lab. Save the date for Paleopalooza on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19, for a chance to view fossils up close, meet scientists, search for fossils, and more!

Photography: Cora Rivera.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.