Tags: ice age | fossils | la | subway | dig

Ice Age Fossils: LA Subway Dig Unearths Pieces of History

Friday, 07 Mar 2014 05:00 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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A dig being done in preparation for extending a Los Angeles subway line has turned up Ice Age fossils, including clams and sand dollars.

Metro, the city's transit authority, posted on their blog The Source that they are working with the Page Museum to identify and preserve the fossils.

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“The shaft is already 65 feet deep and is being dug to learn more about soil conditions in the area and validate what is already known,” blogger Steve Hymon wrote after visiting the site. “While we were there, in fact, a rock was found that appears to have a sea lion skull within it that is perhaps 2 million years or more old.”

The work being done includes tunneling under the La Brea Tar Pits, which have been around for tens of thousands of years, often trapping animals and preserving them for study today.

Aware that the area probably would yield fossils, KABC TV reported that construction crews worked with paleontologists even as they broke ground on the project.

The pre-construction phase going on now is digging down about 70 feet, and most of the fossils found so far have been marine fossils.

“We expect that we're going to find large deposits of late Ice Age vertebrate remains, so across the street at La Brea Tar Pits we have hundreds of thousands of fossils and we find the remains of saber-tooth cats, dire wolves, horses, bears,” paleontologist Aisling Farrell told KABC.

The $6 billion Metro project will not be finished until 2036.

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in downtown Los Angeles, and draw many people to the area to learn about the Ice Age.

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