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Elephants
Evolution and Tragedy of the Land Mighty
The 1st Exhibition Gallery & Sunny Corridor, Life Science Hall
June 28, 2017 – March 18, 2018


With a sweet tongue of kindness, you can drag an elephant by a hair.

Elephants are large land mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Mysterious and massive, the world was once their stomping ground. Their lumbering-trunk-appeal is bound to herd in young and old visitors over the coming months to our summer blockbuster “Elephants: Evolution and Tragedy of the Land Mighty”, which is now open in our 1st Special Exhibition Gallery and Sunny Corridor.

The main special exhibition opening just in time for the school summer vacation features more than two hundreds of its most exquisite pieces of fossils and rare complete skeletons of elephants. Journey back in time 60 million years ago when Ertherium, which was of the size of an adult cat, appeared in Morocco. In addition to the topic of Evolution of Elephants, which describes the birth and the development of the elephant spices and their distributions, the exhibition topics cover Evolutionary Tree of the Proboscideans, Working Elephants, Ivory Artifacts, Prehistoric Humans and Woolly Mammoths, Extinction of Elephants, Diversity of Elephants, and Salutation to Lin-wang and Ma-lan. Get to know why classification of the species is important for the conservation of forest elephants; learn about the domestication and use of elephants; discover the role of mammoths played for humans during the Pleistocene epoch, 1.8 million to 10 thousand years ago; explore why elephants are on the path to extinction; and last but not least, take a look up at the display of the elephant couple Lin-wang and Ma-lan skeleton specimens, which stand tall in the exhibition area along the Sunny Corridor with cutting-edge restoration technology.

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Also, you can experience how heavy an elephant is and how big an elephant’s ears are via fun and interactive devices. By seeing the house constructed by elephant bones and products made with ivory, you can feel the crisis of extinction of the beautiful elephant family. And, there are so many for you to explore!

“It is hard to imagine that Taiwan was once the paradise for elephants based on the precious fossils we have found,” said Dr. Chang Chun-hsiang, the curator of the exhibition and the chairman of the Museum’s Science & Education Department, at the exhibition opening reception. “We are glad to show the real fossils of the Palaeoloxodon preserved in our inventory room that were used to construct the replica now standing in the Sunny Corridor,” he added.

This visually stunning elephant fossil exhibition, which incorporates the latest scientific information about these magnificent but endangered animals, is a family show to trumpet about. We welcome you to join us in this feast and understand how we should care and protect elephants’ very existence in the future.


Elephants: Evolution and Tragedy of the Land Mighty is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science in collaboration with Taipei Zoo. Generous support is provided by Shishang Museum of Natural History, Taipei.

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