Construction Site Discovery: Ice Age Mammoth Found

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Mammoth Fossil Found on Construction Site | F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems 

Image Credit:

405522 02: Paleotologist David Alexander excavates the bones of a five- to seven-million-year-old baleen whale that he discovered in Prima Deshecha Landfill May 17, 2002 in San Juan Capistrano, CA. The 19 1/2 foot-long fossil skeleton includes the four-foot-long skull (L), spine, and at least one flipper. The whale died in the late Miocene era, sank to the ancient ocean bottom at a possible depth of 3000 feet, and was covered with mud. The mud became siltstone and the area uplifted to the current elevation of 404 feet above sea level. (Photo : David McNew/Getty Images) 


Carlsbad, CA -- Construction workers found something quite unusual while building 88 two-story row homes - a Mammoth fossil!

John Suster, the superintendent of the job was intrigued by the find.  He said, "Take your time, this is kind of cool."  This area has seen many fossil discoveries from the Ice Age.  The most notable discovery had been a skull and partial skeleton of a massive bison.  

Tom Demere, curator of pateontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum is excited about the discovery.  "The fossils have the potential to tell us a great deal about the climate, the environment, and the ecology of that time when they were living.  They are direct connection with the past, an ancient ecosystem that was once common here.  We can understant how climate can change by studying these ancient ecosystems."

This summer, fossils from two Columbian mammoths were also found.  They are bigger than the wooly mammoth.  They are about 13 feet tall at the shoulders and approximately 10 tons.

While paleontologists worked on casting and removing the fossils, the construction crew moved on to another site.  Once the fossils were removed, they began again where they left off. 

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