Los Angeles subway dig finds prehistoric objects

Mar 16, 2014

An exploratory subway shaft dug just down the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has uncovered a treasure trove of fossils in the land where saber-tooth cats and other early animals once roamed, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

They include mollusks, asphalt-saturated sand dollars and possibly the mouth of a sea lion dating to 2 million years ago, a time when the Pacific Ocean extended several miles (kilometers) farther inland than it does today.

"Here on the Miracle Mile is where the best record of life from the last great ice age in the world is found," said paleontologist Kim Scott.

The area, dotted today with museums, restaurants, boutiques and apartment buildings, also includes the world-famous La Brea Tar Pits. It was there that mammoths and saber-toothed cats got stuck in the pits' oozing muck, which preserved their skeletons for millennia.

The shaft, dug ahead of work scheduled next year to extend a subway line across LA's west side, is now revealing far more material, including geoducks, clams, snails, mussels and even a 10-foot (3-meter) limb from a pine tree of the type normally now found in central California's woodlands.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is working with Cogstone Resource Management and the nearby George C. Page Museum to identify and preserve the artifacts.

More such discoveries are expected when excavation work begins on a nearby subway station.

"LA's prehistoric past is meeting its future," noted transit authority spokesman Dave Sotero.

Explore further: Seeing dinosaur feathers in a new light

4.7 /5 (12 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists say the American lion is not a lion after all

May 18, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- There has been some debate over the last century or so about whether the extinct American lion, Panthera atrox, which dates from the Pleistocene, is related to present day African lions (Panthera le ...

Calif. utility stumbles on 1.4M years old fossils

Sep 21, 2010

(AP) -- A utility company preparing to build a new substation in an arid canyon southeast of Los Angeles has stumbled on a trove of animal fossils dating back 1.4 million years that researchers say will fill in blanks in ...

Recommended for you

New search planned for grave of Spanish poet Lorca

3 hours ago

Archeologists will start inspecting land in southern Spain near where the acclaimed poet Federico Garcia Lorca is believed to have been executed and buried at the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, officials said Friday.

Seeing dinosaur feathers in a new light

Oct 30, 2014

Why were dinosaurs covered in a cloak of feathers long before the early bird species Archaeopteryx first attempted flight? Researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of Göttingen attempt ...

Mexico archaeologists explore Teotihuacan tunnel (Update)

Oct 29, 2014

A yearslong exploration of a tunnel sealed almost 2,000 years ago at the ancient city of Teotihuacan yielded thousands of relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds, Mexican ...

Peruvian dig reveals sacrificial mystery

Oct 29, 2014

Tulane University physical anthropologist John Verano has spent summers in Peru for the last 30 years, digging for ancient bones and solving their secrets. But his most recent work focuses on a unique archeological ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.