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MOTA Purchases Desmostylus Drawings

Courtesy Museum of the Aleutians

New art is coming to the Museum of the Aleutians thanks to a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation.

The funding has allowed the organization to purchase drawings by Ray Troll that depict an imagining of an extinct marine mammal, the desmostylus.

Director Virginia Hatfield says the creature looked like an ancient hippo.

"[Ray] has one big piece that shows the family of desmostylus creatures [and] two that will be put together that show close-ups of its mouth and a couple different ways the mouth might have worked," Hatfield said. "It's such an unknown, ancient creature. We don't have a lot of examples of what their skeleton was like."

The drawings are based off fossils that were found at the quarry where Eagles View Elementary now stands.

Credit Courtesy Museum of the Aleutians
The Museum of the Aleutians expects Ray Troll's drawings to arrive in November.

Hatfield plans to first exhibit the art and fossils in the museum foyer before moving them closer to their original home.

"I've already talked to the school principal and we have a place that would look really good," Hatfield said. "That’s our plan, so they can be where they were original found."

The museum expects to receive the pieces in November.

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