Ancient Sloth Fossil Unearthed At Subway Excavation Site In Los Angeles

Posted: Jun 4 2017, 2:05pm CDT | by , Updated: Jun 4 2017, 2:11pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Ancient Sloth Fossil Unearthed at Subway Excavation Site in Los Angeles
Credit: Metro Los Angeles

The fossil belongs to Harlan's Ground Sloth that lived around 11,000 years ago

Workers digging a tunnel for subway system in Los Angeles have unearthed the remains of an ancient giant sloth.

The sloth fossil was found 16 feet below Crenshaw Boulevard thoroughfare. There it remained undisturbed for thousands of years before being discovered by subway construction crew.

“Immediately work was stopped and the experts came in and they took a look and did their proper recovery.” Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

The fossil consists of just a hip bone but it was sufficient to determine which animal it belongs to.

The fossil was identified as Harlan's Ground Sloth’s that roamed North America around 11,000 years ago in the late Pleistocene aera and went extinct after the Last Ice Age. Harlan's Ground Sloths were closely related to modern day tree sloths but they were much larger than today’s species. They could grow up to 10 feet long and weigh around 1,500 pounds.

“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.” Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

Fossil remains have been discovered in Los Angeles for the third time in six months. In April, workers discovered bones from an ancient camel and mammoth during metro Purple Line construction. Earlier, the partial skull and tusk of a mammoth was also found in roughly the same site. With these frequent fossil discoveries, the city is turning out to be a major archeological site.

“Fossils periodically are found during excavation due to construction in the LA area. These fossils would probably not have been found if it were not for this construction unearthing them.” Gary Takeuchi, collections manager at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, told Live Science.

The fossil found at the site will eventually be sent to Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, digging will continue at the site and more fossils could be found.

This story may contain affiliate links.


Find rare products online! Get the free Tracker App now.

Download the free Tracker app now to get in-stock alerts on Pomsies, Oculus Go, SNES Classic and more.

Latest News


The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




comments powered by Disqus