America after the Ice

Man and Megafauna in the New World

Megatherium (Illustration: Sergio de la Rosa)
Megatherium (Illustration: Sergio de la Rosa)

Special exhibition 6.4.2017 – 28.1.2017

Mammoths, giant bison and ground sloths, huge wolves and sabre-toothed cats – large animals like these populated the vast American landscape when a new arrival reached the continent at the end of the ice age: man. But who were these first Americans? Where did they come from? When and how did they reach the New World? And how did man’s arrival affect the large animals living there, the megafauna? Can their extinction really be linked to humans, hunting together with their razor-sharp weapons? 

In this extensive exhibition dedicated to these fascinating questions – the first to be shown in Europe – the State Museum of Natural History highlights the time period of America’s first settlement by humans. It outlines the various theories on possible immigration routes and considers the question of why many of the large animal species that existed here until this time disappeared after man’s arrival. The exhibition shows outstanding exhibits from national and international lenders but also from our own collection: artefacts, fossils, skeletons, and specially made, lifelike reconstructions. The latest research results are presented and give an overview of what we know today about America’s settlement history and the fate of the megafauna.

To the exhibition