“But it’s worth it to get to see a part of Los Angeles that not many get the chance to see.”The skull went Cogstone’s lab in Riverside, Calif., where it was strengthened with a special glue and carefully cleaned of 10,000 years of dirt.
Most of the fossils were uncovered at two locations about six miles apart — along Crenshaw Boulevard in the south and Wilshire Boulevard further north.
Some were discovered near the La Brea Tar Pits, an area already known for well-preserved remains locked in ancient asphalt.
Construction on the first phase of the Wilshire section — known as the Purple Line — began in 2014.
The first fossils were found two years later in soil dating back to the last Ice Age, which ended more than 10,000 years ago.
Cogstone's lab preserves and studies the fossils before sending them to museums.
The first find at the La Brea site was a 3-foot section of an adult mammoth tusk uncovered just before Thanksgiving.
That’s why Leger says the finds being uncovered deep under the Los Angeles streets are so important.
With rising urbanization and development around the country, more and more fossils may soon be buried forever under layers of concrete and brick — which makes taking advantage of these discoveries crucial.“We’re missing things, all over the country,” Leger said.
After determining the fossil was much larger than just a few isolated pieces, he called Leger, who came the next morning to confirm it as a mammoth skull based on patterns in its intact tusks.
She and a team of workers spent 15 hours extracting the fossil while Metro construction continued in a different area.“This job can be challenging,” Palacios said, as he stood in a dirt hole four stories below street level — the future site of the Wilshire/La Brea Station — with the noise from backhoes and jackhammers echoing around him.
In addition to the usual complement of engineers and train conductors, the county's Metropolitan Transit Authority has added paleontologists to its staff to preserve and study the Ice Age bones.