Mammoth Fossils Found In Unlikely Spot

When one thinks of finding fossils from the Ice Age, usually our minds drift to the wilds of Utah or Montana. However, new discoveries of Mammoth fossils in Carlsbad, California, sort of turn that assumption on its head.

The Carlsbad, California, discovery of Mammoth fossils was made at the Quarry Creek development site. Construction workers found the Mammoth fossils while digging foundations.

Paleontologists were called in to take a look at the enormous bones and quickly determined that they were from Ice Age Mammoths.

Working in close contact with the construction company Cornerstone Communities, the paleontologists carefully removed the Mammoth fossils from the construction site and moved them to the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Joe Suster, the project superintendent for the construction company that discovered the Mammoth fossils, warned the workers to take care when they found the ancient bones.

"Take your time, this is kind of cool," he said.

In addition to the Mammoth fossils, the construction workers unearthed skeleton fossils of horses, turtles, and bison. According to the curator of paleontology at the San Diego Museum of Natural History, Tom Demere, the Mammoth and other Ice Age fossils discovered could be anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 years old.

The Mammoth fossils will be studied at the San Diego museum by researchers before being put into storage. However, the bison skeleton fossil was almost complete and will be displayed at the museum.

Demere commented on the bison fossils.

"The bison fossil, which includes a skull and partial skeleton, is the most unusual and probably the most complete of the larger animals found at the project site. These are big animals, much larger than modern plains bison."

Representatives from the San Diego Museum of Natural History said that they will continue to comb the Carlsbad construction site and fully expect to discover more Ice Age fossils in the area.

This isn't the first time, believe it or not, that fossils have been found in the San Diego area. In prior discoveries, fossils have been discovered in downtown San Diego, Fairbanks Ranch, and Oceanside, proving that regardless of the cities that modern man has created, at one point the entire world was wild.

The CEO of the Cornerstone Communities development company, Ure Kretowicz, commented on the importance of construction companies like his being sensitive to finds like this.

"It's a perfect example of how a mass grading operation can still be sensitive to historical and paleontological concerns. We stop everything or go grade another area on the site."

[Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images]