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Mammoth unveiling at Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla

Photo courtesy of the Fossil Discovery Center
Workers with Chowchilla's Fossil Discovery Center position the pelvic bone of a Columbian mammoth. The 13-foot mammoth is the museum's latest display.
Photo courtesy of the Fossil Discovery Center Workers with Chowchilla's Fossil Discovery Center position the pelvic bone of a Columbian mammoth. The 13-foot mammoth is the museum's latest display.

Chowchilla's Fossil Discovery Center will unveil its latest and largest exhibit at a special event this Friday.

The museum recently completed the new exhibit, the 13-foot-tall body of an entire Colombian mammoth that will greet visitors as they enter the museum.

Friday's event, which begins at 6 p.m., features hors d'ouevres and wine from various award-winning Madera Wine Trail wineries. Members can attend the event for $20 while tickets for non-members are $25. Membership can be purchased at www.maderamammoths.org.

The Fossil Discovery Center, which opened in October, brings to life a very different environment from the urban and agricultural landscapes that dominate the Central Valley today. Around 700,000 years ago, the Pleistocene-era Central Valley harbored numerous unique and fascinating creatures. Fossils of those animals were first uncovered in Chowchilla in May 1993, when workers at the Madera County landfill in Fairmead spotted unusual coloration in the soil. It turned out to be a complete Columbian mammoth tusk. Since then, nearly 15,000 fossils have been recovered from the Fairmead landfill. The adjacent museum is now home to the largest Pleistocene-era fossil bed in the Western United States and includes displays of sabretoothed cats, dire wolves, giant groundsloths, short-faced bears and ancestors of today's camels.

Fore more information on the event, or the Fossil Discovery Center, call (559) 665-7107.

The Fossil Discovery Center is located at 19450 Ave. 21 1/2. Take exit 164 from Highway 99.

-- Posted by Brandon Bowers

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