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Scientists recover 16,000 Ice Age fossils in Los Angeles

ice-age-fossils-la-tar-pitsHollywood execs in Los Angeles frequently try to make history, but it looks like they’ve sitting on it for thousands of years. Scientists announced today that more than 16,000 fossils have been recovered from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, and they’re not even 50 percent finished with the dig. Known as “Project 23,” the Tar Pits site is one of the biggest known concentrations of Ice Age fossils in the world.

This particular find began in 2006 after a parking lot excavation revealed several fossils, including a mammoth skeleton. Since that time, scientists have been slowly chipping away at the mass of tar, mud, clay, and asphalt. So far, they have found the remains of a giant jaguar, baby mammoths, ground sloth, sabre-toothed kittens, camel ribs, a dire wolf, a horse, other small animals, and a number of microfossils in the surrounding dirt. It may take as many as five more years to completely examine the find.

“You’re opening up this ancient world and getting to look back in time,” Karin Rice, an excavator at the Page Museum told the AP. “We’re still trying to piece everything together.”

While it’s not quite as cool as finding an intact, frozen woolly mammoth in Siberia, or alien life on Earth. It’s nice to see L.A. get a little attention from the scientific community. If only movie studios would take as much time and effort to get things right.