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Saber-toothed cats topic of Herrett Forum in Twin Falls

Posted April 10, 2009

William A. Akersten, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Idaho Museum of Natural History in Pocatello, will talk about the lifestyles of some of Idaho’s extinct critters at the next Herrett Forum in Twin Falls. The free event will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15.

Akersten has become an authority on “Idaho’s Ice-Age Saber-Tooths: A Tale of Two Kitties” since moving to Idaho in 1985. Before that, he supervised the excavation and study of the famous Rancho La Brea fossil site, more commonly known as the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. In addition to his current position at the Pocatello museum, he is also a professor in Idaho State University’s biological sciences department.

What we now call Idaho was home to not one but two saber-toothed cats that became extinct some 12,000 years ago.But Akersten hastens to add that they were not saber-tooth tigers. In fact, in addition to the two cats, there were at least four other more ancient saber-toothed animals in Idaho, also long extinct. Akersten has studied many of the ancient life forms in North America and will provide the audience with some insights on how paleontologists gather and interpret information.

The Herrett Forum is a monthly series of presentations held the third Wednesday evening of each month during the school year. Topics are coordinated by the Herrett Forum Committee, a group of community individuals dedicated to bringing high quality presentations to Twin Falls. No tickets are required for this free public lecture. Doors open at 7 p.m. The Herrett Center for Arts and Science is located on the north side of the College of Southern Idaho campus at the North College Road entrance.

For more information, visit http://imnh.isu.edu or contact Teresa Nelson at (208) 282-2603 or nelstere@isu.edu.

The IMNH is located on the campus of Idaho State University at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Dillon Street in Building #12. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.