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Prehistoric elephant skull on display at Las Vegas Natural History Museum

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The four-tusked skull is on display at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

The Details

Las Vegas Natural History Museum
900 Las Vegas Blvd. N., 384-3446
Daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., $5-$10

It’s hard to get excited about a rhynchotherium skull when you have prehistoric dioramas to wrap your head around. Then there are the live snakes, sharks and stingrays, an ancient Egyptian exhibit and a mind-blowing taxidermy collection—more stuffed animals than you could ever imagine. But once you’ve peeled away from all of that, once you’ve extracted and exhausted every kernel of information from extinct primates and the eat-or-be-eaten animal world at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, pay a visit to the reportedly most-intact rhynchotherium skull in the world. It’s the least you can do for a prehistoric mammal that preceded the modern elephant but never gained the popularity of the woolly mammoth—despite having four tusks, rather than two. This rhynchotherium roamed the state of Arizona three million years ago, and its skull was found on a ranch there in the 1980s; it was donated to the museum by a former board member through the Joshua Reid Anderson Foundation, which also funded its restoration. Saturday might be good time to visit; in honor of its 20th anniversary, the museum is offering half-price tickets.

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