Ancient Elephant Unearthed in LA Construction Excavation

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ancient elephant found in construction

Los Angeles, CA -- The Metro Purple Line is being extended in L.A., and during construction excavation, an ancient elephant's remains were found.

The elephant was first discovered in November, right before Thanksgiving.  A three-foot section of tusk and fragments of mastodon tooth were found fifteen feet into the excavation.

A paleontological monitor was hired for the site to look out for bones and fossils.  The monitor found a partial skull and tusks.  About ten feet from the first discovery, more elephant bone fragment were found.

The fossils were found to be about 10,000 years and from the ice age.

"This is significant; it's the very first mammal fossils that have been found on the Purple Line extension project.  We've unearthed and we've preserved L.A.'s prehistoric past as we build its future," said Metro spokesman Dave Sotero.

Once the fossils have been identified, analyzed, and preserved, they will be given to the Natural History Museum.

The elephant fossils will not slow construction.  The city has plans in place for when fossils are found.  The area is very fossil rich.  Petroleum from underground oil field came to the surface, trapping animals and preserving their skeletons. 

Read the full story here. 

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