s skippy the bush kangaroo: there's a special on dire wolf fossils in the basement

skippy the bush kangaroo

Saturday, February 21, 2009

there's a special on dire wolf fossils in the basement

over near the la brea tar pits here in los angeles, excavation was underway to dig up what used to be the basement of a may's department store @ the corner of fairfax & wilshire.

imagine everyone's surprise when construction workers found the largest cache of pre-historic fossilized bones ever. guardian uk:

researchers have discovered the largest collection of ice age fossils beneath a demolished department store in central los angeles.

the find includes an almost intact colombian mammoth, nicknamed zed by researchers, a complete sabre-tooth cat skeleton, a giant ground sloth and a north american lion.

the discovery, close to the la brea tar pits where the remains of 34 mammoths were uncovered almost a century ago, has excited palaeontologists because it gives them an unparalleled glimpse of life in the los angeles basin more than 10,000 years ago.

unlike earlier excavations, workers were able to preserve intact smaller fossils, including turtles, clams, snails, fish and tree trunks. in previous discoveries, these items were discarded as the larger fossils were uncovered.
the old may's building used to stand next to the park complex that holds both the la county museum of art and the large pool of gunk known as the la brea tar pits (a phrase which, when the spanish is translated, reads "the 'the tar' tar pits"). the latimes tells us complete skeletons were found in the excavation:

among their finds, to be formally announced today, is the nearly intact skeleton of a columbian mammoth -- named zed by researchers -- a prize discovery because only bits and pieces of mammoths had previously been found in the tar pits…

the site of the old two-story parking garage, which was used by the now-defunct may co. department store, is now owned by the page's neighboring museum, the los angeles county museum of art. lacma had razed the building to construct an underground parking garage that would restore parkland above the structure.

the entire rancho la brea area at hancock park is a paleontological treasure chest. petroleum from the once-massive underground oil fields oozed to the surface over the millennia, forming bogs that trapped and killed unsuspecting animals and then preserved their skeletons. it is now a protected site, although dispensation was granted to build the new garage.
posted by skippy at 4:40 PM |


Damn, and here I thought I had those things WELL hidden... :)
I remember wandering around the tar pits back in 1974 after seeing the King Tut exhibit at LACMA. As a former anthro major, I'm excited!
commented by Blogger Linkmeister, 6:17 PM PST  
We've put together a quick, informative video about the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia where you can learn about their significance to Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

It's worth a look!
commented by Blogger Canadian Tourism, 5:37 PM PDT  

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