On more than one occasion, Metro’s tunnel excavators have been thrust into the role of amateur paleontologists as they serendipitously stumble upon fossils. They have unearthed the bones of ancient camels, elephants, and bison. Now they can add an prehistoric sloth to their menagerie of prehistoric finds, reports the Source.
The discovery was made in sandy clay some 16 feet below Crenshaw Boulevard, between 63rd Street and Hyde Park Boulevard. That’s where workers are digging for the upcoming Crenshaw Line.
Paleontologists at the Paleo Solutions lab working in tandem with the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum identified the bone fragment as the hip joint of a giant sloth.
They say the hip may have once belonged to a Harlan’s ground sloth, a 10-foot long, 1,500-pound creature that roamed Los Angeles during the late Pleistocene era, according to the Source. It has been extinct for at least 10,000 years.
Also unearthed at the same time was a bison’s right proximal radius. The fossils will most likely be donated to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
- Bones belonging to sloth and ancient bison found during Crenshaw/LAX Line work [The Source]
- Metro Digs Up Ancient Bison Bone Below Leimert Park [Curbed LA]
- Metro unearths ancient elephant fossils below Wilshire Boulevard [Curbed LA]
- Metro finds prehistoric camel bones under future Wilshire/La Brea station [Curbed LA]