Delaware County is hosting a replica of one of the most completed American mastodon skeletons discovered.
The nearly 12,000-year-old remnant’s copy will be on display at Deer Haven Park, 4183 Liberty Road, as part of the Preservation Parks of Delaware County’s Into the Ice Age exhibit, which kicks-off this Memorial Day weekend.
“This will be the biggest event we’ve done,” said Rich Niccum, the park district’s education services manager. He believes the skeleton’s replica is making its county debut.
The mastodon was found at Burning Tree Golf Course in Newark, Ohio, 1989. The bones were found during an excavation for a new pond at the course. The owner had five casts of the mastodon made before selling the original to a museum in Japan.
Families can get their first up-close look at the Burning Tree Mastodon at 7 p.m. Friday. The event will have activities and a 9:30 p.m. outdoor screening of the Ice Age movie. The film’s sequels will be screened on June 30 and July 28.
In addition, the Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center will bring hands-on activities about Earth glacier research from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Also, the exhibit has another display at Shale Hollow Park, 6320 Artesian Run, in Lewis Center. It includes life-size models of animals from the Ice Age and uses a mattress to simulate the feel of a quaking bog — a wet, spongy and shaky ground that has no foundation. Dale Gnidovec, curator of the OSU Orton Geological Museum, will have Ice Age artifacts on display at that park from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Other activities scheduled this summer include fossil and arrowheads identification and a hike to learn about the Ice Age’s geology at Shale Hollow.
Due to the exhibit, hours for Deer Haven and Shale Hollow parks will be extended. Deer Haven will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturdays, while Shale Hollow will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. Both parks will be open noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Additionally, there’s a chance to win prizes by finding all five silhouettes of Ice Age-era animals at one of the five parks: Hogback Ridge, Char-Mar Ridge, Gallant Woods, Emily Traphagen and Blues Creek. Booklets for the activity are available at the parks.
The exhibit will run through Oct. 31.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.