Los Angeles Metro crews dig up ancient sloth, bison bones

Metro excavation crews in Los Angeles uncovered an ancient bison right proximal radius leg bone (L), which is shown in comparison to a sample bison bone. The crews also uncovered an ancient sloth bone. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here