Regional fossils now on display at S.C. State Museum

This skull of an African Lion, a relative of the American Lion that has been found in Southeastern United States, is one of many fossils on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.

This skull of an African Lion, a relative of the American Lion that has been found in Southeastern United States, is one of many fossils on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A new exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum titled “South Carolina Unearthed” opened on Saturday in Columbia.

The exhibit features a number of specimens from the museum’s nationally known fossil collection.

The museum says the fossils will give visitors a glimpse of a time millions of years ago when ground sloths, long-horned buffalo and saber-toothed cats roamed what is now South Carolina. It was an era when whales swam and huge marine lizards lived in the ocean that covered the state form Dorchester to Darlington counties.

The state museum’s collection contains three major components: biology, geology and paleontology, and documents the history of life in South Carolina. The range of the collection includes strange arthropods that are more than 500 million years old, 70-million-year-old dinosaur bones, 40-million-year-old whales, 20-million-year-old shark teeth, 400,000-year-old bones from the Ice Age, and a host of taxidermy mounts of animals that currently inhabit the state.

The exhibit is free with mustum general admission or membership. The fossils will be on display through next Feb. 1.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE


This skull of an African Lion, a relative of the American Lion that has been found in Southeastern United States, is one of many fossils on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.

This skull of an African Lion, a relative of the American Lion that has been found in Southeastern United States, is one of many fossils on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.

The Carolina Parakeet, an extinct bird that lived in Southeastern United States, is one of many specimens on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.

The Carolina Parakeet, an extinct bird that lived in Southeastern United States, is one of many specimens on display at the South Carolina Museum’s natural history exhibit, South Carolina Unearthed. Image courtesy of the museum.