This summer in Carlsbad, a treasure trove of Ice Age (Pleistocene Epoch) fossils from close to 200,000 years ago was unearthed at a construction site on Quarry Creek–the site of a new development where over 600 new homes are slated for construction.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the bison fossil, which includes a skull and partial skeleton, is reportedly the most unusual and complete of the larger animal fossils found at the project site. Tom Deméré, who is the curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum told the Tribune that while the exact species is yet to be identified, it is believed to be either a giant bison (Bison latifrons) or an antique bison (Bison antiquus).
The mammal’s fossilized remains will reportedly be placed on temporary display at the San Diego Natural History Museum until a final home is decided for it.
The Tribune reports that the fossils found in Carlsbad this summer include at least two Columbian mammoths which, when alive, stood 13 feet tall at the shoulders and weighed 8 to 10 tons. The discovered fossils are coated with plaster and then relocated to a museum where the jacket can be removed and the investigation process begins.
This is not the first time fossils have been discovered in California and the state requires large construction projects in to have a paleontologist on site when large amounts of earth are moved for this very reason.
Three years ago, another bison fossil was reportedly unearthed in San Diego County at a Caltrans construction site.
The first set of apartments on the Quarry Creek development could be ready by the end of 2016. There will reportedly be a total of six neighborhoods in the development.