Nerd Nite Madison Podcast: Making mastodons great again

UW Geology Museum curator Carrie Eaton explains how we came to understand an iconic prehistoric beast.

UW Geology Museum curator Carrie Eaton explains how we came to understand an iconic prehistoric beast.


Nerd Nite Madison is back at the High Noon Saloon this Wednesday, April 27. We partner with Nerd Nite Madison to present these events, and to create this audio series of their talks.

We have our own mastodons here in Wisconsin, but the story of this creature is truly an international one. In a March talk for Nerd Nite Madison, recorded live at the High Noon Saloon, Carrie Eaton of the UW Geology Museum details the gradual and sometimes bizarre process by which science came to understand what Thomas Jefferson called (sigh) “the bubby-toothed animal.” The tale involves fossil politics, comically mis-assembled skeletons, self-aggrandizing painters, and an arcane but still fascinating process of discovery. Give it a listen below.

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