Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Fossil remains of bones and teeth formed in 'Ice Age' glacial rivers and streams tell us that mammoths and woolly rhinos were visitors to this area.

  • Skulls in case
  • Mammoth tooth
  • Saber-toothed tiger

The age of the mammals

The Tertiary - 66 to 2.6 million years ago. 

After the time of the dinosaurs the slow movement of the Earth continued and became more like the world of today. 

The world's climate began to cool and became drier. It also became more unstable with very significant heating events causing mass extinctions. During this time, mammals became more diverse and ultimately dominated. Mammals took to the seas to become whales and dolphins and grew larger on land to become both predator and prey. 

At the end of this time, early humans (hominids) appear on Earth.

The human story has begun. 

The fourth great age of Earth

The Quaternary Period. 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago. 

At the end of Tertiary period the layout of landmasses was almost as we see them today (the continents and countries). This period is the fourth great age of Planet Earth.

This period on earth is also called the 'Pleistocene Period' or 'Ice-Age'. This is because 2.6 million years ago the climate began to significantly cool and polar ice caps formed and grew, spreading across the Earth's service. This was not one single event, rather events that happened several times in the last 2.6 million years. 

There have been 11 major cold (glacial) events recognised in the last 2.6 million years with warming episodes in between, like the one we are in currently. 

In the cold times, iconic large mammals, like the woolly mammoth roamed around the edge of the ice sheets on the frozen tundra here in the Black Country.

We have artefacts on display showing this period including a sabre-tooth cat, small scale woolly mammoth and real mammoth tusks. 

Evolution of humans

We have a display of skulls which track recognised human evolution over the last 12,000 years of our history. From when the first humans appeared on Earth. In this last stage of development they used tools and created art which uniquely defines and separates us from other hominoids and mammals on Earth.