Construction workers digging a subway extension in Los Angeles have unearthed dozens of fossilized remains from creatures who roamed the region during the last Ice Age.
Construction crews digging a subway extension beneath the streets of Los Angeles have stumbled upon a trove of fossilized remains from animals that are believed to have roamed the area some 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, the Daily Mail reports via information from the Associated Press.
Workers have unearthed a partial rabbit jaw, mastodon tooth, camel foreleg, bison vertebrae, and a tooth and ankle bone from a horse. But the biggest find to date is an intact skull of a juvenile mammoth, which paleontologist Ashley Leger calls a “dream come true.”
“It's the one fossil you always want to find in your career,” said Leger, who works as an on-hand paleontologist for subway extensions throughout Los Angeles.
The skull, a rare find, was taken to Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, one of America’s most fossil-rich sites. Assistant curator Dr. Emily Lindsey called the find “remarkable,” noting that only about 30 mammoth remains have been found, and that both attached tusks make the fossil even rarer. The eight-to-12-year-old Columbian mammoth was named Hayden.
Scientists are required to be on-hand at some construction sites within the state of California due to strict environmental laws. Since the 1990s, paleontologists have staffed all Los Angeles subway digs due to the likelihood of discovering fossils.