American Hunters

Giant vampire bats, dire wolves, the American Pleistocene lion—this was the world of the Paleo-Indians in North America, a continent very different from the one on which Europeans landed many years later.

Some of the animals would have been familiar to Paleo-Indian peoples, since these species, like them, had crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia. Others, such as the dire wolf, would have been new and fearsome. Many were hunted by the Paleo-Indians, giving these early settlers of North America a reputation as big-game hunters. Others, however, were competitors, and even dangerous, because these animals were also hunters.

This exhibition presents the competitors of the Paleo-Indian hunters that still live today—

  • The black bear, Ursus americanus
  • Mountain lion, Felis concolor
  • The timber wolf, Canis lupus
  • The California condor, Gymnogyps californianus
  • Jaguar, Panthera onca
  • Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos