by Luci Cipera and Shayda Spakowski
The life-sized model of an Indricotherium is without question the star of the Extreme Mammals exhibition which opened on June 3, 2011, at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
This herbivorous animal was about five metres tall and weighed as much as 18 tonnes. It lived in the forests of Central Asia between 34 and 23 million years ago. (Read more about Indricotherium on the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) web site).
The model is much taller than the doorways of our galleries and it travelled in pieces. See photos of its assembly at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The first photos show how the pieces of the model are assembled by the teams from the Canadian Museum of Nature and AMNH. You can see the immense height of the Indricotherium.
A local model-maker, Ronald Seguin, did the finishing work. He used expanding foam during this work. He uses it to smooth places where the pieces join together, sculpting it to make it blend in.
Using a piece of fabric, Ron applies a thick, coloured coating to mimic the skin texture. Finally, he finishes with two more coats in different colours to match the model’s appearance.
Et voilà! The Indricotherium is ready to welcome visitors to the entrance of the exhibition.
Extreme Mammals is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, USA, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, USA.