Paleontologists have informed that an Ice Age mammoth fossil was unearthed in California by accident on Saturday. The skeleton fragments were recovered during earth moving procedures and the bone parts were immediately sent for analysis at the San Diego Museum of Natural History.
According to scientists, the discovery was made at the Quarry Creek site in Carlsbad, California where groups of construction workers are currently conducting excavation works. The sight of the bone fragments has immediately notified workers that they might be sitting on a valuable historic site. As a consequence, a team of paleontologists was called to help with the collection of the fossils.
Researchers have taken thee fragments to the San Diego Museum of Natural History where they could be further analyzed. They have thus discovered that the skeletons belonged to different prehistoric animals. More specifically, a bison skull and parts of its skeleton were identified, together with the fossil of a Columbian Mammoth.
Tom Demere, a curator at the museum, has estimated that the fossils could be 50,000 or 200,000 years old. Yet, there may be bone fragments belonging to more recent animals, namely horses and turtles.
Researchers have been very pleased with the discovery they have made. They have labeled the bison fossil discovery as the most unusual discovery to have ever been made. Additionally, they were pleased to see that the fossils have been very well preserved and many useful pieces of information could be collected from their study.
The large number of bone fragments that have been unearthed in the region are determining museum curators to stop construction works and to qualify the area as a historically valuable site. They have reasons to believe that there are other bone fragments in the region, which could be destroyed if excavation work continue.
Cornerstone CEO Ure Kretowicz was deeply impressed by the attention that both workers and researchers have paid to the discovery. He has decided to suspend works until more is known about the site. If other fossil traces are found, workers may be forced to move to a different construction site. If they will, nevertheless, continue to excavate, workers will be instructed to pay extra care to possible fossil traces and carefully remove them from the site.
Image source: www.tarpits.org
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