Yes, Virginia, there were mammoths and mastodons living in Maryland. This presentation will summarize the fossil Proboscideans (elephants) known from Maryland. They include mastodons, mammoths, and gomphotheres. Mastodons and mammoths lived in Maryland during the Pleistocene Epoch (thousands of years ago) while gomphotheres, ancestors of mastodons, lived in Maryland during the Miocene Epoch (millions of years ago).

Ralph Eshelman is a specialist in polar exploration, military and maritime history, War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, geology and vertebrate paleontology. He received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Michigan with a major in geology and vertebrate paleontology and a minor in ecology. His earlier studies were at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (Bachelors of Science in earth and space science and minor in zoology) and the University of Iowa (Master of Science in geology and vertebrate paleontology and minor in museum studies).

Ralph was a Research Associate in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution from 1975 until 2005. He is active in several professional and civic organizations including past president of the Council of American Maritime Museums, founding vice-president of the National Maritime Preservation Task Force of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, vice-president for Science and Stewardship of the Maryland-Washington D.C. Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, Patuxent Riverkeeper, and Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Honors include Outstanding Young Men in America (1981) and Emerging Young Leaders of America (1989).

This presentation is part of The Mammoth Speaker Series, one of many programs designed to help educate, excite and engage with the Mammoth Exhibition coming to the Natural History Society of Maryland this fall. The ticket price gives you access to all of 5 of talks – not just this one.

  • 7PM THURSDAY – OCTOBER 5 – Climate Fluctuations of the Pleistocene, Dr. Hali Kilbourne, Associate Research Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • 10AM SATURDAY – OCTOBER 14 – The Natural History of the Mammoth NOTE: Breakfast with a Mammoth with Dr. Adrian Lister, Merit Researcher, Natural History Museum, London
  • 7PM TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 14 – The Extinction of Mammoths with Dr. Chris Widga, Director, EMS Museum & Art Gallery, Penn State University
  • 7PM TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 28 – Mammoths and Mastodons of Maryland with Ralph Eshelman, Associate Researcher Calvert Marine Museum
  • 7PM TUESDAY – DECEMBER 12 – Mammoths and Humans with Dr. Todd Surovell, Director of the George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology

NOTE: Speaker Series tickets are one of the Thank You Gifts for donating to the Mammoth GoFnndMe Campaign – CLICK HERE: