Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ice Age Mammals

From The Montreal Gazette:

The Montreal Science Centre presents “Ice Age Mammals”, an inspiring exploration of all things ice age, filled with fossils, mega fauna and lots of fun. The exhibition comes courtesy, in part, of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

But to mention the Canadian Museum of Nature, one must pay credit to Richard "Dick" Harington, a McGill University alumnus, an Order of Canada recipient and a paleontologist who has devoted his life to studying ice age animals.

"Part of the motivation for the exhibit was to feature the career of Dick Harington," Natalia Rybczynski said. "When he started working at the museum, the ice age collections only had about 60 specimens. It's now over 40,000. So he has single-handedly transformed our understanding of ice age mammals."

Rybczynski, herself a paleomammalogist at the Canadian Museum of Nature and adviser to the exhibition, speaks quite highly of Harington with good reason: as a teenage high school student in Ottawa, Rybczynski was paired with Harington through a mentorship program. She has since completed her master's degree and doctorate in the field.

"I've had the extreme pleasure of working with him," she said. "He's been a mentor to me."

Ice Age Mammals opens Saturday and continues until March 2007. The Montreal Science Centre is at the King Edward Pier in the Old Port. For more information, call (514) 496-4724 or visit the website at