View of a mastodon skeleton known as the Conway Mastodon that is on display at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus, Ohio. During the Ice Age mastodons roamed the North American continent. This skeleton was found in 1887 in a swamp located between Champaign and Clark counties in Ohio. It is known as the Conway Mastodon because it was presented to The Ohio State University by Newton S. Conway in 1894. The skeleton came to the Ohio History Connection, on loan from The Ohio State University, in 1970. It is estimated that this mastodon was 20 to 30 years old when it died. It stands 10 feet high at the shoulder and each of its ivory tusks weighs more than 100 pounds.
Extinction is a natural process that has occurred throughout the history of life on earth. The significant difference in today's world is the rate of extinction. Between 1600 - 1850 scientists documented only five animal extinctions - or one animal every 30 years. Since 1850 the rate of global extinction has escalated to at least one animal every 2.15 years.