June 4 (UPI) — A subway excavation crew in California uncovered a set of ancient sloth and bison bones, the Los Angeles transportation authority said.
The metro workers found a bison bone fragment and a sloth’s hip joint 16 feet below Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“This is an amazing discovery. If this is a Harlan’s Ground Sloth (the largest and most common of three species of ground sloth found at the Tar Pits) then the animal could have easily weighed up to 1,500 pounds and measured up to 10 feet in length,” the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.
Crews found the bones beneath a sandy clay layer on May 16 and quickly worked to have them identified.
“Immediately work was stopped and the experts came in and they took a look and did their proper recovery,” Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo told KPCC.
The fossils were then stabilized and prepared in the Paleo Solutions laboratory where Gary Takeuchi of the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum helped identify them as a bison right proximal radius and a sloth proximal femur head fragment.
Scientists believe the animals lived in the Los Angeles area during the late Pleistocene Era 10,000 and 40,000 years ago.
The ancient bones will be placed on display at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park.