Neanderthals Come To Life In
Missing Links Alive!
Exhibit Opens May 29, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO (March 1999) -- No, Fred Flinstone and his Bedrock buddies will not be featured in Missing Links Alive, the blockbuster summer exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. However, visitors can step back in time 20,000 to four million years, and learn what life may have been like for their ancestors. "This is considered one of the most comprehensive natural history exhibits ever created," said Dr. Nina Jablonski, chair of the Academy's Anthropology Department.

Missing Links Alive was developed in Europe by more than twenty of the world's leading paleontologiests and anthropologists who have worked many years to unravel the universal mystery of human evolution. Visitors will learn some of the processes of unearthing evidence from the past, the excitement of making discoveries, and the ongoing controversies over scientific interpretations.

The most up-to-date scientific findings are combined with the latest exhibit technology. Massive dioramas feature moving and speaking Australopithecines, Homo Erectus, Neanderthals, and Cro-Magnons that highlight four major periods in our evolutionary history and demonstrate the development of language, logic, and creativity in humans. Each diorama is complete with realistic landscapes, lighting and narration by several of the world's leading researchers.

An exciting addition to Missing Links Alive is a remarkable collection of priceless art and artifacts from the Moravian Museum Brno in the Czech Republic. These statues of carved and fired clay, stone, shell, ivory and bone date back 20,000 to 35,000 years and have been hidden in vaults since before World War I. The highlight of this collection is the renowned artifact Dolni Vestonice Venus, one of the oldest known ceramic sculptures and among the earliest evidence of fired clay. One of the oldest and most exquisite examples of early human expression, the Venus is often ranked with the Mona Lisa in terms of artistic importance.

Missing Links Alive offers something for every curious homo sapien visiting the Academy of Sciences this summer. More than forty interactive and hands-on stations will allow visitors to explore the extraordinary similarities between themselves and their early ancestors. Witnessing their ancestral likeness face off with a sabertooth tiger, modern humans may be inspired to get in touch with their more primitive tendencies. Visitors can test their strength against that of a Neanderthal, develop a new appreciation for power tools, and maybe realize that their seemingly protrusive chin really is not so large after all.
Programming for Missing Links Alive is funded, in part, by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. Additional admission fees required for adults ages 18-65. The exhibit closes September 6, 1999.