Skip to comments.Major cache of fossils unearthed in L.A.
Posted on 02/17/2009 10:55:33 PM PST by smokingfrog
Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles' Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.
Researchers from the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits have barely begun extracting the fossils from the sandy, tarry matrix of soil, but they expect the find to double the size of the museum's collection from the period, already the largest in the world.
Among their finds, to be formally announced Wednesday, is the nearly intact skeleton of a Columbian mammoth -- named Zed by researchers -- a prize discovery because only bits and pieces of mammoths had previously been found in the tar pits.
But researchers are perhaps even more excited about finding smaller fossils of tree trunks, turtles, snails, clams, millipedes, fish, gophers and even mats of oak leaves. In the early 1900s, the first excavators at La Brea threw out similar items in their haste to find prized animal bones, and crucial information about the period was lost.
"This gives us the opportunity to get a detailed picture of what life was like 10,000 to 40,000 years ago" in the Los Angeles Basin, said John Harris, chief curator at the Page. The find will make the museum "the major library of life in the Pleistocene ice age," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
One could say the same for DC by there they ain’t below the ground.
There are no fossils — just clever legerdemain by either God or Satan to confuse the unbelievers and/or confirm the eeevil athiests.
Proof reading is my friend
One could say the same for DC but there they aint below the ground.
Yeah, honest politicians.
...and common sense.
It greives me to live in Ca right now. But I have one son going into his senior year in HS and 2.5 years until I can take early retirement. On top of that I’m in the defense industry and starting to get nervous about this new thugocracy we have. And with the exception of my 401k turning into crap the wife and I are enjoying the best financial years of our working lives right now. Ain’t that the chits!
Given the state of "art" in today's social and political circles, the need for another parking lot for a museum that only rarely shows graffiti (L.A.s signature art form), and the value of findings that will be lost due to hasty (salvage) archeology;
this just ain't right.
What were Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd doing there?
LOL the great looking but mostly inaccurate metal sculptures at the pits notwithstanding.
“Major cache of fossils unearthed in LA”
Yeah, it’s called Hollywood.
Mostly inaccurate? I'll be bringing my kids there shortly. Is there a link that details the inaccuracies or something specific to tell them? Just curious...
Don't forget the one over in Berkley!
Let me be the first....
From the article:
“...In 3 1/2 months, working seven days a week,
she and her colleagues removed the entire collection
two years ago and delivered them to the museum...”
- - -
Two years ago?
News moves slowly out there, I guess.
You chance to jump in and tell is how it can’t be 40,000 years but it has to be less than 6,000 years.
This explains the huge pile of wooden boxes with markings that indicated “finds” that I saw in back of the museum a few months back. I always find that block of museums interesting. Along the regular sidewalks in back of the museums, the tar cracks through the surface in many spots - a reminder that it’s not just in the big pool in front of the block!
If they were smart, they would look for oil at the site and forget the fossils.
Been there, done that, pumped it pretty much dry 80 years ago. There are a few working wells around the area, including one on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, but most were shut down as unprofitable in the 1920s, and now it's all a densely populated residential neighborhood.
Here's a picture of that area from probably around 1910
Cool pic. Thanks for the info.
There is probably more oil/gas still there that can be reached with new drilling technologies...but as we both know...California will never allow it. The rest of America has to prop up California’s use of oil/gas and now we will have to bail them out of their socialist caused bankruptcy.
(The border of Beverly Hills, FYI, is just a few blocks west of the tar pits)
California produces about 40% of the amount of oil they consume. How many states can say the same? Two? Three?
Thanks for the article:
This seemed rather strange(especially in a year that had record oil prices):
“Los Angeles County, the most populous in the U.S. with 9.9 million people, had 3,400 of California’s 50,856 wells in operation last year.”
Like I said, it’s all residential now. Do you have any idea how much it would cost to buy a chunk of land big enough to drill on? You’ve got to have room for the well, for the trucks, for the shacks, etc. So let’s say one residential block. One residential block in that neighborhood has maybe 20 houses on it. It’s a pretty good neighborhood, so each house would sell for, say, $750,000. Already you’re at $15 million before you’ve done anything. There’s just better places for oil companies to invest that capital.
I am not doubting what you are saying...especially for an oil rig in California. They do have new technologies(directional drilling, etc. for gas). Right now, they are drilling for gas in the DFW area right smack dab in the middle of residential neighborhoods. The Barnett Shale discovery. They do not buy the land...they leased the minerals from each homeowner in the 640 acre tract and usually drill on a smaller tract(a city park or similar city property) within that 640 acres.
I believe on oil, one rig covers a 80 acre tract which makes it a bit more problematic in a city.
Anyway, like you mentioned early on, it is all a mute point right now with oil so low.
2000 years from now archeaolgists will be excavating the Sacrament Tax Pit for remains of the last productive California taxpayers from the "terminator" period.
“California produces about 40% of the amount of oil they consume. How many states can say the same? Two? Three?”
And yet, we could probably produce 100% and have plenty left over to export.
Maybe. But if the cost of getting it out of the ground is higher than the price per barrel (California oil goes for $4-$6 less a barrel than benchmark crude), who is going to subsidize it?
CA has plenty of oil - they know where it is - but just won't drill for it.
Yep..some of those fossils can fetch a good price....LOL
There was a IBD piece a bit ago on FR about how California could fix their entire budget problems if they would just allow drilling off of their coasts...but no..the rest of the country has to come bail them out with our money!
Thanks Jet Jaguar. I was quite uncharacteristically listening to NPR this evening and heard one of the discoverers talk about this. She talked a bit too long. ;')
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
all of which ended up in the ooze in their attempt to reach the trapped animals - as a free meal, LOL!
EARTH IN UPHEAVAL
The Asphalt Pit of La Brea - Page 64,
Beds of petroleum shale (rock of laminated structure formed by consolidation of clay), ascribed to the Tertiary Age, having in many places a thickness of about two thousand feet, extend from Cape Mendocino in northern California to Los Angeles and beyond, a distance of over four hundred and fifty miles. The asphalt of Rancho La Brea are an outcrop of this large bituminous formation.
Since 1906 the University of California has been collecting the fossils of Rancho La Brea, 'a most remarkable mass of skeletal material.' When found, these fossils were regarded as representing the fauna of the late Tertiary (Pliocene) or early Pleistocene (Ice Age).
The Pleistocene strata, fifty to one hundred feet thick, over lie the tertiary formations in which the main oil-bearing beds are found. The deposit containing the fossils consists of alluvium, clay, course sand and asphalt.
Most spectacular among the animals found at Rancho La Brea is the Saber-tooth tiger (Smilodon), previously unknown elsewhere in the new or old world, but found since then, in other places too. The canine teeth of this animal, over ten inches long, projected from his mouth like two curved knives. With this weapon the tiger tore the flesh of his prey.
The animal remains are crowded together in the asphalt pit in an unbelievable agglomeration. In the first excavation carried on by the University of California 'a bed of bones was encountered in which the number of saber-tooth and wolf skulls together averaged twenty per cubic yard.'
No fewer than seven-hundred skulls of saber-toothed tiger have been recovered.' Among other animals unearthed in this pit were bison, horses, camel, sloths, mammoths, mastodons, and also birds including peacocks.
To explain the presence of these bones in the asphalt, the theory was offered that the animals became entrapped in the tar, sank in it, and were imbedded when the tar hardened. However the large number of animals that filled this asphalt bed to overflowing is baffling.
Moreover the vast majority of them are carnivorous, whereas in any fauna the majority of animals would be herbivorous-otherwise the carnivores would have had no victims for their daily food-requires explanation...
The answer is obvious: space aliens. They come here from across the interstellar reaches to mutilate beef cattle, make crop circles and do anal probes on abducted humans. They clearly must be implicated in driving the carnivores into the tar pits. No other answer makes sense!
The wrong things.
Oh, they're the ones that can't be rented...they STAY bought!
It doesn’t take anywhere near a city block to drill a well and they lease the land not buy it. But this is CA after all, they would die before they drilled there.
It's a built up residential neighborhood. They'd have to tear down houses to put up a rig. How much is that lease going to cost?
But this is CA after all, they would die before they drilled there.
Offer enough money to make it worth their while . But the price of a 7000 sq ft lot in that neighborhood right now is listing for about a million and half dollars.
Who said is had to come out of the ground? Right off shore we have billions of gallons of easily accessible oil. Profitable even at current prices from what I understand. All the oil companies need is permission to get it. Which, of course, will never happen.
Well, that was the whole point--the oil that's immediately under the tar pits area. That's a good ten miles from the beach. You're not going to pull that oil with an offshore rig.
It was just Sharon Stone sunbathing.