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Earth Transportation Science

Ice Age Fossils Found During Los Angeles Subway Exploration 64

Posted by timothy
from the global-warming-has-since-occurred dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During an exploratory dig to extend one of L.A.'s subway lines (yes! Los Angeles actually does have an underground), a host of fossils from the Ice Age were uncovered, including the skull of a sea lion. The dig site is close to the La Brea Tar Pits, where the preserved remains of various plants and animals were discovered in the early 1900s. The La Brea Tar Pit fossils are estimated to be between 11,000-55,000 years old, and the most common animals found were dire wolves."
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Ice Age Fossils Found During Los Angeles Subway Exploration

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  • winter is coming!

  • This is cool but let's not delay commuter rail and subway construction.

    • by Threni (635302)

      Delay it a little bit until all the important archaeological items have been safely extracted, surely? They've been there millions of years; another few months/years won't hurt.

    • by milkmage (795746)

      DELAYED.

      they found a ship while excavating downtown San Francisco a few years back. construction stopped until the archaeologists had their fill.

      it's not like a sailing ship from the late 1800's is Noah's Ark.. but they still took all they could find.

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I live along Wilshire, the street on (or rather, under) which they're building this subway, the Purple Line extension [wikipedia.org]. They just started a couple months ago. The first stage of the project is currently planned to last 9 years, which will cover 4 miles. A bit of trivia, it only took only ten years for the US to dig the 48 mile Panama canal through jungle and mountainous terrain. (To be fair, the French had already done about 15% of the excavation when the US acquired the project, but that ten year time span
      • by Aighearach (97333)

        More likely it involves schedule juggling so the contractor can increase their margins, and would not impact the timeline at all.

        This recently came up in my town, when push came to shove regarding the permit, the contractor ended up admitting the timeline for the project would be the same if they work at 4am or wait until 7am. But it would save them money. In this case it would have meant less hours running some sort of concrete dryer. So we decided that they should have planned to start at the locally allo

  • Actually, most of LA's subways are above ground.

    • by mendax (114116)

      Actually, most of LA's subways are above ground.

      You are probably confusing the subway with the trolley lines and the Metro Link trains, all of which run above ground for the most part.

    • So is london's but only just. 55% of it is above ground
    • Actually, most of LA's subways are above ground.

      Damn! I was about to make a H. G. Wells reference :)

    • Actually, most of LA's subways are above ground.

      So, they are just "ways"? It's almost like someone said "Hey, let's take the buses and put them on tracks!"

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        subway, well, it is below something. It isn't like they're called sub-street ways. Subways gives a lot of latitude.

        Also, what if one end is underground? Then it would still be a sub-ground way, at least enough to join the set.

  • by mendax (114116) on Monday March 10, 2014 @02:32AM (#46443513)

    This is very interesting. You aren't going to find clams and sea lion heads in the La Brea tar pits. The most unusual thing I can recall they've found in there was a human skeleton of a native American woman who was bashed on the head and her body dumped in a pit.

    • by riverat1 (1048260)

      Finding a sea lion head surprised me considering how much lower sea levels were at the time.

      • by mythosaz (572040)

        Finding a sea lion head surprised me considering how much lower sea levels were at the time.

        Pretty sure they've always been at sea level... :)

  • Fossil? (Score:5, Funny)

    by mjwx (966435) on Monday March 10, 2014 @02:50AM (#46443557)
    However upon closer inspection, they found out the fossil was just Keith Richards who had wandered into the construction site.
  • by GPS Pilot (3683) on Monday March 10, 2014 @03:46AM (#46443653)

    It's an amazing place. They have a large wall covered with dire wolf skulls, just to show off how many dire wolf skeletons have been dug up.

    • by mendax (114116) on Monday March 10, 2014 @04:37AM (#46443767)

      It's an amazing place. They have a large wall covered with dire wolf skulls, just to show off how many dire wolf skeletons have been dug up.

      It is an amazing place and easy to get to without a car. They also have either a woolly mammoth, a mastodon, or both on display, or did the last time I was there. The museum is evidence that the Los Angeles area was a kind of Garden of Eden during the last Ice Age. Of course, every Eden has to have its serpent to spoil it. In that place, the serpent was the saber-toothed lion.

      And while you're there, the county art museum is next door if you like that kind of thing.

      • by ignavus (213578)

        It is an amazing place and easy to get to without a car.

        A lot of animals certainly discovered how easy it was to get to without a car.

    • What is special about La Brea tar pits is that they get multiple specimens of the same species, males, females, juveniles, old and young. They get complete skeletons instead of a few disjoint pieces. They are chronically short of funds. They have dug up huge blocks which are presently sitting covered in tarps because they don't have the resources to properly pry the fossils off these blocks. Earlier they used to discard the "matrix" and go after the big bones. Now they realize the matrix has tons and tons o
      • by jittles (1613415)

        The least the producers of the Big Bang Theory could have done is to pay some decent fees to the museum and written an episode to place inside the museum. Those cheapskates just had one scene outside in the bus stop and a stuffed toy from the museum.

        It is possible (however unlikely it may be), that they tried to film on location and they would not grant them access for some reason other than financial reasons. I am sure there are all sorts of restrictions and limitations on what they allow, and perhaps that was the issue instead of money? Who knows.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Considering how ubiquitous they are, one would imagine that would be a great candidate for DNA mining, retrieval, reassembly, and ultimately, recreation.

    • by cellocgw (617879)

      They have a large wall covered with dire wolf skulls, just to show off how many dire wolf skeletons have been dug up.

      Hey, do the Starks know about this?

      (gimme a break here: the new season is just about to start)

  • My ranger used to kite dire-wolves... And my tree-hugging druid too.

  • Dig more along the stretch. I guess you'll find a lot more down there. But get a lil bit faster the railway has been clogged.
  • I know this is offtopic but its worth mentioning. In Los Angeles we've had a subway and heavy rail transit system in existence for 21 years. since 1993. the survey is for the next phase of the expo line.
  • ... crated with wooden planks into tree boxes ...

    Dear Page Museum: No website feedback link/address, no correction notification.

  • And told the subway to leave its illegal occupation

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Monday March 10, 2014 @09:58AM (#46444961)

    I didn't know dire wolves were real. I just thought it was some BS that George R. R. Martin came up with.

    • I didn't know dire wolves were real. I just thought it was some BS that George R. R. Martin came up with.

      Of course they're real, they're large 5 hit die creatures that have a bite attack and can trip with that attack. You often see druids and rangers taking them as animal companions.

      • I didn't know dire wolves were real. I just thought it was some BS that George R. R. Martin came up with.

        Of course they're real, they're large 5 hit die creatures that have a bite attack and can trip with that attack. You often see druids and rangers taking them as animal companions.

        And Jerry Garcia even wrote about them. Of course they're real

        In the backwash of Fennario
        The black and bloody mire
        The dire wolf collects his due
        While the boys sing 'round the fire

        Don't murder me, I beg of you
        Don't murder me, please, don't murder me

  • It's like a wolf, but dire.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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