The Orange County Mystery Mammal is coming! No, not the OC housewife with an addiction to plastic surgery. It's a sea creature, also known as Paleoparadoxia, that once foraged for food like an ancient hippo-elephant thing, off the Southern California coast before going extinct some 10 million years ago.
LA's Museum of Natural History is set to reopen the doors to the city's oldest museum building–the Beaux-Arts 1913 Building–after extensive restoration, and the exhibit headlining the reopening is the Age of Mammals, featuring OC's Mystery Mammal. The Paleoparadoxia skeleton is extremely rare, and in true OC fashion, its discovery can be credited to the quest for more outdoor fun.
According to the LA Times, the skeleton was unearthed 12 years ago, from a development site that has since become a golf course.
The Age of Mammals exhibit spans the history of mammal evolution, about 65 million years. The exhibit's catch phrase is “Continents move. Climates change. Animals evolve.” Lead curator Dr. John Harris says on the Natural History Museum's website that he hopes the story within “puts
climate change and human impact on our environment into the context of long-term geological and evolutionary processes.”
Golf–which uses tons of pesticides, fertilizers, and massive amounts of water–leads to the discovery of OC's rare mammal specimen, which goes on display as a lesson about our environmental impact. It's like evolution is messing with our minds, man!
Museum members get a free preview of the Age of Mammals exhibit Friday and Saturday. The rest of us can see the OC beast's big debut beginning Sunday.