Horned Beavers? Whales With Legs? This Denver Exhibit Has ‘Extreme’ Animals Covered

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<p>(Courtesy AMNH/D. Finnin)</p>
<p>An exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science features a walking whale.</p>

This story originally aired Oct. 13, 2016.

Did you know central Colorado was once home to horned beavers? Can you imagine an elk with antlers spanning 7 feet?

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has a new exhibit called Extreme Mammals featuring fossils and reconstructions of these bizarre creatures along with plenty of others both living and extinct.

Paleontologist Tyler Lyson helped put the exhibit together. "Most mammals are extreme in one sense or another," he says.

A few of the extreme animals, now extinct, that once lived in Colorado:

  • Columbian mammoth
  • Saber-toothed cat
  • Coryphodon - a large mammal with tusks
  • Giant ground sloth

Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel spoke with Lyson. The Extreme Mammal exhibit runs through Jan. 8, 2017.