Ice Age Fossils Are Being Unearthed By L.A.'s Subway Construction

A 65-foot deep shaft being dug for Los Angeles's newest subway line is filled with buried treasure. The so-called Subway to the Sea is still nine miles from the beach, but excavation has already revealed some creatures from the ocean floor… the prehistoric ocean floor!

Metro's Steve Hymon and Dave Sotero ventured to the site of the exploratory shaft, which is a pre-construction exercise to make sure the soils and conditions are similar to where engineers will eventually be tunneling. Because it's a site known to be sensitive—the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently fighting to move forward with its expansion plans across the street—paleontologists are on-site to make sure nothing uncovered is destroyed.

Ice Age Fossils Are Being Unearthed By L.A.'s Subway Construction

The team had already uncovered geoducks, sand dollars, and cones and seeds for a digger pine tree. But, while Hymon and Sotero were there, the team found a sea lion skull that they believed to be two million years old.

Ice Age Fossils Are Being Unearthed By L.A.'s Subway Construction

The shaft is being dug near the La Brea Tar Pits, one of the most important paleontological sites on the planet, so it's no surprise to find a rich deposit of Ice Age fossils.

But the marine fossils are only the beginning—scientists estimate they'll find large vertebrate mammals when they begin construction in earnest early next year. [The Source]

Photos by Steve Hymon and Dave Sotero/Metro