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Construction workers find rare ice age mammoth and bison fossils


In a recent incident, construction workers unearthed ice age mammoth and bison fossils at a Quarry Creek development site in Carlsbad, California. Paleontologists are working closely with members of the property developer, San Diego-based Cornerstone Communities, and the fossils have been shifted to San Diego Museum of Natural History.carlsbad-ice-age-fossil

After the discovery of ice age fossils at the construction site off State Route 78, the development plans have been slightly modified. A bison skull and partial skeleton, Colombian mammoth, horses and turtles were the fossils that were found during an earth moving operation. Tome Demere, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Museum of Natural history, said the fossils could be at least 50,000 to 200,000 years old, and the bison skull and skeleton will be displayed at the museum.

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“It is really an exciting project in terms of geology and paleontology. The fossils have the potential to tell us a great deal about the climate, the environment, the ecology of that time,” said Demere.

Demere added that these fossils could reveal more information about climate, environment and ecology during the period. Studying the differences between the past and present ecosystem, researchers can know more about how climates change. John Suster, Cornerstone’s project superintendent said he was surprised when the workers said they had found fossils, and they were found in July. The museum has said that it will continue to look out for more fossils in the  Quarry Creek region.

Earlier, fossils were found in downtown San Diego, Oceanside, Fairbanks Ranch, and the Anza Borrego Desert. Cornerstone CEO Ure Kretowicz said that it is a perfect example of how mass grading operation can still be sensitive to historical and paleontological concerns. Authorities mentioned that the bison discovery is one of the rare finds, and these giant bisons are larger than plain bisons that we normally see.

Cornerstone Communities is planning to build 636 housing units, consisting of apartments and condominiums at the 63-acre stretch between College Boulevard and El Camino Real. The construction is set to begin next year.


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