2005-09-23 / Family

City to showcase mammoth paraphernalia at Country Days

The city of Moorpark will present a Moorpark mammoth information booth during Country Days on Sat., Oct. 1. The booth will be manned by staff prepared for “mammoth talk” throughout the day.

Castings of many of the fossils from the Moorpark site and other significant species of mammoths and Pleistocene epoch mammals will be on display, said Assistant City Manager Hugh Riley.

Information about the discovery and its significance to the science of paleontology will be available, along with an illustrated short story suggesting how this gentle prehistoric pachyderm may have come to this part of Southern California.

The “Mammoth Watch” booth will also display the Moorpark mammoth oil painting by S. Jan Mecklenburg, selected to create the painting because she is renowned for prehistoric art, Riley said. “Hours and hours of research have gone into this and experts agreed this is the foremost resemblance to the mammoth,” Riley said. Visitors will be able to order certified authentic reproductions of the original work.

This creature is not a wooly or imperial mammoth—it’s quite a bit older, said Riley, noting the resemblance with today’s pachyderms.

Modern elephants all descended from these animals, he said, but this animal’s hind legs and trunk size are different.

The Moorpark mammoth’s body is designed to live in the warm tropical climate the area is believed to have had a million years ago.

The climate changed because the underground Pacific plate is pushing California north about two inches a year, said Riley, looking at the 3-foot by 5-foot painting temporarily house in his office.

The painting will be displayed in the new police center when that facility opens in October.

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