Project 23: Better Than Area 51 Because It Has Ice Age Fossils

PhysOrg.Com has an interesting story on Project 23. From PhysOrg.Com:

Researchers discovered 16 fossil deposits under an old parking lot next to the tar pits in 2006 and began sifting through them last summer. The mammoth remains, including 10-foot-long tusks, were in an ancient riverbed near the fossil cache.
Officials of the Page Museum at the tar pits plan to formally announce their findings on Wednesday. The discoveries could double the museum’s Ice Age collection.
Such a rich find usually takes years to excavate. But with a deadline looming to build an underground parking garage for the next-door art museum, researchers boxed up the deposits and lifted them out of the ground using a massive crane.
“It’s like a paleontological Christmas,” research team member Andie Thomer wrote in a blog post in July.
The research dubbed “Project 23” – because it took 23 boxes to house the deposits – uncovered fossilized mammals as well as smaller critters including turtles, snails and insects. Separately, scientists found a well-preserved Columbian mammoth that they nicknamed Zed.

What could make this story better than:

…a near-intact mammoth skeleton, a skull of an American lion and bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, bison, horses, ground sloths and other mammals.

That is a good question. The answer is that there is a blog about the project. At The Excavatrix you can find more details and plenty of pictures. Check it out…

4 Responses

  1. We found a columbian mammoth of our own. 😀

  2. Alan – you accidentally entered a “+” sign instead of “=” sign in your hyperlink, so I took the liberty of fixing it. Excellent story.

  3. Me and my typos.
    Update: A second tusk was later found nearby. If you’d like to follow the story of San Diego’s mammoths I expect you’ll find information at the San Diego Natural History Museum’s web site. Or you could email one of the staff or curators. Sorry, but I don’t have the URL right now.
    Glad you liked the story.

  4. It’s amazing that what is now a bustling American metropolis was once an American Serengeti, and the fossils are still being discovered. I once had a snap-together model of the tar pits as a child (which included an incorrect European Wooly Rhinoceros!)

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