December 6: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

2000:  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority releases an “encyclopedic report” detailing the numerous fossils found during subway construction.

Paleontologist Dr. Bruce Lander and a team of 28 scientists find more than 2,000 fossils discovered while building the Metro Red Line.

These include 64 extinct species of marine fish, 39 or which are new discoveries previously unknown.  The paleontologists also recovered bones from numerous land mammals, including mammoth, mastodon, camel bison, sloth, and smaller rodents, as well as birds and trees.

The findings are documented in the report, Paleontologic Resource Impact Mitigation Program Final Technical Report of Findings, and is shared with numerous institutions of higher learning and government agencies.  It is believed that the findings will lead to new research about prehistoric life in the Los Angeles area.  Many of the fossils found are on display in the Metro Transportation Research Library & Archive.

More information can be found in the December 6, 2000 Metro Press Release and the December 6, 2000 issue of the MyMetro employee news digest.  The full text of the paleontological report can be found here.