City of Mesa, AZ

Paradise Lost: Arizona South of the Ice

Great ice sheets cover much of the continent. Huge, strange animals roam the cold, windswept plains. You have entered North America—this is the Ice Age!  But not in Arizona….

"Paradise Lost" Arizona Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibition, explores the lost world of Arizona's last three million years. Find out what it was like to live south of the ice during the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs. During these geologic time periods, Arizona was paradise - a place so ideal that rich mixtures of the world’s animal species were represented - including hyenas, flamingos, and capybaras. Now extinct animals include huge mammoths, fierce bone crushing dogs, and giant ground sloths. This exhibition will feature full skeletons of mammoth, American zebra and the American lion.

“Paradise Lost” showcases the museum’s collections and research into the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs in Arizona, especially the Safford area. Although not the complete skeletons, fossils from the Chandler, Willcox, and celebrated Gilbert mammoths will be on display. Human evolution and activities are explored both before and after their arrival in the region. This important local story has never been told in such detail and we are excited and proud to bring Arizona South of the Ice to you.


image of a mammoth
 Columbian Mammoth (Mammathus columbi)
 Artwork by Carl Buell
 www.olduvaigeorge.com