Museum lecture to explore Mojave Desert fossil record
San Bernardino County Museum Curator of Paleontology Eric Scott will give an afternoon talk, “Mojave River and Pleistocene Lake Manix,” exploring the fossil record of the ancient Mojave Desert at the Victor Valley Museum at 2:00 on Sunday, March 10. The program is open to the public and is included in museum general admission.
The present-day Mojave River flows north and east, mostly underground, to pass through Hesperia, Victorville and Barstow on its way out towards Baker. During the Pleistocene Epoch–the “Ice Ages”–global and regional temperatures were frequently cooler than today, and the ancestral Mojave River flowed at the surface along most of its length, fed by more runoff from year-round snow and ice blanketing the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains. The ancestral Mojave River filled low-lying basins north and east of the mountains to form broad freshwater lakes. Abundant plants and animals, including several extinct species of very large mammals, all thrived on this ready source of fresh water.
“In the Victor Valley region, ancient river sediments laid down by the ancestral Mojave River are still present, and preserve the fossilized remains of extinct animals such as mammoths, horses, camels, sloths, and even giant bears,” said Scott. “The ground under your feet is a rich treasure trove of bones and teeth of Ice Age animals that once called this area home!”
The Victor Valley Museum is a branch of the San Bernardino County Museum located at 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 (adult), $4 (senior or military), and $2.50 (student). Children under 5 and San Bernardino County Museum Association members are free. Parking is free. For more information, visit http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/museum/.
The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.