Woolly Mammoth Tooth Found by Construction Crew
The recent construction taking place at the new Transbay Terminal project has attracted many paleontologists. This is because a huge tooth that once belonged to a woolly mammoth has been unearthed by the construction crew.
Paleontologist Jim Allen was quoted in KQED News saying, "The discovery is a lucky find, and can give scientists a better picture of this part of the world, when it was full of mastedons, saber-toothed cats and giant ground sloths. It is like forensic science today. You know, when you find something, it's the dentures, and it's the teeth that determine a lot. Even from thousands to millions of years ago."
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The 10 inch long brown black and beige chomper belonged to the woolly mammoth that roamed the grassy valley around 10 to 15 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch.
"The Bay was a grassy valley with herds of these extinct critters just roaming around," abclocal quoted Allen, who believes these fragments could be 10,000 or 11,000 years old. "It's a big deal, so we can study it, get some age dates which help us figure out tectonics [and] seismicity like the San Andreas Fault."
The crane operator Brandon Valasik found this while excavating a 200 foot deep hole inside a steel casing.
Sfgate quoted Allen saying, "Allen said the tooth, from the same age as specimens found in the La Brea Tar Pits in downtown Los Angeles, will aid scientists in the study not only of evolution and extinct species but of geology and tectonic forces that cause earthquakes. The tooth will probably be donated to the California Academy of Sciences, though the Transbay Transit Center may put it on display."