Giant sloths and ancient bison once ruled downtown Los Angeles.
So did ancient camels, mastodons and mammoths. But they were all wiped away when the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago.
But new traces of their dominion have just turned up by crews digging a tunnel for a new LA train line.
“We found bones!” the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently announced.
One bone belonged to a bison and the other, a giant sloth. The discoveries came on May 16 in a sandy clay layer some 16-feet under Crenshaw Boulevard.
The first fossil fragment was pegged as the bison right proximal radius, or foreleg.
In ancient times, the animal would have looked like this.
The second fossil was identified as a sloth’s proximal femur head fragment, or hip joint.
“This is an amazing discovery,” the transit authority said.
The Harlan’s Ground Sloth, which weighed up to 1,500 pounds and stretched 10-feet in length, was the largest and most common of three species of ground sloth found at the Tar Pits.
It lived in the Los Angeles basin some 40,000 to 11,000 years ago.
And this is what it looked like.
The fossils will eventually be transferred to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County or other accredited facility.
This isn’t the first exciting find by work crews.
“It is surprising to most people that camels were once native to Southern California,” Dr. Ashley Leger, Paleontological Field Director for Cogstone Resource Management said at the time. “Camel bones are quite rare in the fossil record of our area. We are very excited about what we might discover next in this fossil-rich area.”