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January 21, 2011

ULM's Museum of Natural History invites visitors to step back in time

The University of Louisiana at Monroe's Museum of Natural History starts its new year off right with a schedule of interesting displays and events throughout the semester, according to Instructor of Biology Dennis Bell.

"Our regular patrons, as well as new ones, will want to visit the museum and see some of our new exhibits, including a traveling exhibit on loan from the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge that features the histories and cultures of Louisiana's many native tribes," Bell said.

January's exhibit "Native Nations of Louisiana," is on display Jan. 24 - March 1. The museum, located on the third floor of Sandel Hall at ULM, also recently received $1,500 for the purchase of a mammoth skull cast, which will be a new display in the museum. The mammoth skull is part of a growing and eclectic collection that includes a 240-gallon saltwater reef tank, a full size Bengal tiger mount and a full size cast of the skull of "Sue," the best preserved and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found.

"All of our visitors, young and old alike, always seem to enjoy 'Sue,''" Bell said, smiling.

Another January event is a presentation by Sam Brookes, Manager of the Heritage Program in Mississippi, who will speak on the Middle Archaic Period, a time 5,000 years ago. His presentation is at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 24, at the museum. In February, Dr. Barbara Dutrow of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at LSU will present "A Thousand Mammoths in a Hot Tub," describing paleontological finds at the Hot Springs Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, S.D., Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. Dutrow's presentation will accompany the cast of the newly acquired mammoth skull complete with jaw and tusks from the Hot Springs site.

March's guest, Kelby Ouchley, will speak on his recently released book "Flora and Fauna of the Civil War" March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Ouchley, a former Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge manager, is a familiar voice to listeners of KEDM-90.3 FM, ULM's Public Radio station and his program "Bayou Diversity" is a KEDM favorite.

The Museum is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The museum also opens the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 318-342-1868 or visit the museum's Web site at

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