Cache of Ice Age fossils found in Los Angeles

Filed under: regular postings — Gary February 17, 2009 @ 11:02 pm

La Brea Tar PitsLa Brea Tar Pits 2La Brea Tar Pits 3

LOS ANGELES – Scientists are studying a huge cache of Ice Age fossil deposits recovered near the famous La Brea Tar Pits in the heart of the nation’s second-largest city.

Among the finds is a near-intact mammoth skeleton, a skull of an American lion and bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, bison, horses, ground sloths and other mammals.

Researchers discovered 16 fossil deposits under an old parking lot next to the tar pits in 2006 and began sifting through them last summer. The mammoth remains, including 10-foot-long tusks, were in an ancient riverbed near the fossil cache.

Officials of the Page Museum at the tar pits plan to formally announce their findings on Wednesday. The discoveries could double the museum’s Ice Age collection.

Such a rich find usually takes years to excavate. But with a deadline looming to build an underground parking garage for the next-door art museum, researchers boxed up the deposits and lifted them out of the ground using a massive crane.

“It’s like a paleontological Christmas,” research team member Andie Thomer wrote in a blog post in July.

The research dubbed “Project 23″ — because it took 23 boxes to house the deposits — uncovered fossilized mammals as well as smaller critters including turtles, snails and insects. Separately, scientists found a well-preserved Columbian mammoth that they nicknamed Zed.

An examination reveals Zed, which is 80 percent complete, had arthritic joints and several broken and re-healed ribs — an indication that he suffered a major injury during his life.

“It’s looking more and more as if Zed lived a pretty rough life,” Thomer blogged in December.

Some scientists not connected with the discovery said this is the first significant fossil find since the original excavations at the tar pits more than a century ago.

“Usually these things are either lost in the mixing or not recovered in the processing of the oily sand and soil they occur in,” paleontologist Jere H. Lipps of the University of California, Berkeley wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The La Brea Tar Pits ranks among the world’s famous fossil sites. Between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago, mammoths, mastodons, saber-tooth cats and other Ice Age beasts became trapped by sticky asphalt that oozing upward through cracks and fissures in the ground. The newly recovered fossils were also in asphalt.

Since 1906, more than a million bones have been unearthed from the sticky ponds.


On the Net:

Page Museum:

Rockhound field trip- Jalama Beach, Lompoc Ca. -Agate, Jasper, Petrified Whale Bone, Travertine Onyx, and Fossils.

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary February 5, 2009 @ 11:40 am


Jalama Beach, Lompoc Calif. April 25th Sat. 10am Tri Club Field Trip-Conejo, Oxnard, Ventura
Field trip: Our April field trip will be to Jalama Beach. We will be looking for Agate, Jasper, Petrified Whale Bone, Travertine Onyx, and Fossils.
They can be found along the shoreline. You can come up for the day or  camp overnight . Day use $6.00, camping $18.00, with electric hookup
$25.00 Campsites are assigned on a first come, first served basis, one site to one vehicle. 98 campsites, all overlooking the ocean or beach front.
Each site has a picnic table and BBQ, with hot showers, restrooms and water nearby. 29 sites offer electrical hookups, and dump stations are
available. I will not be camping.
Directions: From Ventura head north on 101, past Santa Barbara, just past Gaviota as the 101 goes inland take the State Hwy 1 turn off, marked
Lompoc/Vandenberg. Go north approximately 13.5 miles to Jalama Beach County Park turn off. Turn left, west, drive approximately 15 miles to
Jalama Beach County Park. Approximately 122 miles from Thousand Oaks, 2.5-3 hour drive time.
Meeting: Saturday Afternoon, April 25th. 2009, 10am-4pm. We will meet in the parking lot. Look for my black Toyota Truck with a CGMC sign in the
window. There will be a short briefing of the site.  Please remember to sign a release form to participate in the field trip. We will then walk along the
beach south of the parking lot, approximately 2.5 miles, to an area that has cement on the side of the hill. The Shale in the area is a good place to
look for fossils. Along the beach you can find agate, jasper in shades of brown, honey, gold, and clear. Travertine Onyx can be found north of the
parking lot approximately 1.5 miles.
Tools: Collecting bags, buckets, day pack, digging tools, rock pick, pry bar, eye protection, trowels, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sturdy shoes,
newspaper for wrapping fossils, layered clothing, towels, change of clothes/shoes in case you get wet. Drinking water, lunch or snacks. camping
gear if you plan on spending the night.
Contact: Robert Sankovich  805-494-7734,  Mike Miller  805-498-9586,
Jalama Beach County Park
Star Route, Jalama Road,Lompoc, CA 93436
Recorded Information (805) 736-6316,  Park Office (805) 736-3504

Great blog about a field trip to Jalama –

Ant Hill-Bakersfield California field trip- Conejo Gem & Mineral Club, Tri-clubs, and CFMS

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary @ 11:15 am

Ant Hill California

For working links in the picture go here:
Ant Hill-Bakersfield Calif March 21st Sat. 10am
This will be a co-op field trip Conejo Gem & Mineral Club, Tri-clubs, and CFMS
Field trip: Our March field trip will be to the Ant Hill area, near Bakersfield California. Come out for a fun day of digging for shark teeth fossils,
the weather should be nice, cool. The dig site is a walk of 500 yards over semi flat ground, then up a hill 100 yards. Once there most of the time
you’ll be digging in small area. This time of the year there is always the chance of rain, bring the necessary clothing. If it is raining, we won’t be digging.
When: March 21st 2009, Saturday, 10am-3pm.
Directions: 5 Freeway North, to the 99 Hwy North, off at 178 Hwy East, near Bakersfield, go 8.3 miles to the Harrell Hwy, turn Left/North. 3.5
miles on the Harrell Hwy from the 178 Hwy. Site is on the Left/South side of Hwy, by the hills. My black Toyota truck will be there, with a CGMC
sign in the window We will be about 2.5 miles East of Hart Park. You should see a asphalt bike path going up the hill. Then you know your at
the right spot. Ant Hill is 136 miles from my house in Thousand Oaks, drive time 2 to 2.5 hours.
Tools: Rock pick/hammer, gad pry bar, hand sledge, sifter, large pry bar, shovel, pick, eye protection, newspaper to wrap your fossils in,
collecting bags, wide brimmed hat, suntan lotion, lots of water, lunch, There is no shade morning, afternoon, and it can be hot, but it will probably
be cool, so dress accordingly, layers. I would recommend a day pack, to put your tools in. It’s a bit of a walk and it will be easier carrying your gear.
Material to Collect: Shark teeth fossils, many types, sizes, from the Miocene Epoch 10-15 millions years ago. There are other fossils, bone
fragments, teeth to be found.  The fossils are found in a layer about 3′, you will see the exposed holes from previous digs. They are in a semi
soft clay that you will dig out the biggest pieces you can, then carefully break apart to find the fossils. I usually use a gad pry bar to dig out bigger
pieces of the clay, about golf ball to baseball size or so, If I see any sign of a shark tooth or fossil, I’ll wrap it into newspaper and later I will use
dental tools or dremel motor tool to remove the clay to reveal the tooth. I keep some of the teeth still in the matrix, it makes a nice display. The
main thing is patience when working with fossils.
Contact: Robert Sankovich 805-494-7734 home,   Mike Miller 805-498-9586
CFMS: Adam Dean 909-489-4899    Shep Koss 661-248-0411

Gem Hill, Rosamond California field trip- Conejo Gem & Mineral Club and Ventura Gem & Mineral Society

Filed under: Coming Events,regular postings — Gary @ 10:27 am

Robert sent me these field trips to post.  If anyone attends I would love some stories or pictures!
gem hillto use links go here

Robert Sankovich
VP Field Trips
Conejo Gem & Mineral Club
Ventura Gem & Mineral Society

Field Trips Upcoming: Please let us know if you are going to go on the field trip. The weather can change, if we don’t
know your going we won’t be able to contact you if the field trip is cancelled. There will be maps and flyers at the club meetings.
Gem Hill, Rosamond Calif. Feb 28th 2009 Sat 10am Tri Club Field Trip-Conejo, Oxnard, Ventura
Field trip: Our February field trip will be to Gem Hill,  agate, jasper, opalite, petrified wood.  This is a good field trip for all rockhounds,
you will be able to find float material on the surface or you can dig and find better material. You don’t need 4 wheel drive.
Directions: From Thousand Oaks, drive to the 14 Freeway north towards Lancaster. Exit at Rosamond Blvd. Turn left  (west) go 3.4 miles to
Mojave-Tropico Rd. Turn right, (north) go 4.7 miles.  Turn left (west) on a dirt road,  go .7 miles, Turn left (south) to hills .3 miles. You should
see a CGMC sign in the window of my auto. I will probably drive my black Toyota truck, but I might carpool in another auto. Approximately
94 miles from Thousand Oaks, 1.5  hour drive time
Meeting: Saturday Afternoon, February 28th. 2009, 10am-3pm.
Material to collect: Petrified Wood. Brownish-gray exterior giving a rather chalky appearance. White, cream, and brown are the most
predominate colors. Fairly good display of wood grain on broken surfaces. Digging is required for this material. Good for tumbling and cabbing.
Jasp-agate. Weathered green outside surface. Yellow and green streamers of jasper running through the agate remind one of moss agate.
Found mostly in float. Excellent for tumbling and cabs.
Green Opal. This material occurs in a vein. Much work has occurred here and the diggings are now beginning to undermine the road. The
opal takes a good polish and makes up into attractive cabs and jewelry. Also suitable for tumbling.
Blue Agate. Very nice quality light blue agate occurring in vein. Hard digging is required to recover the material. This agate is quite hard
and solid, and therefore is excellent for polishing.
Tools: Collecting bags, buckets, day pack, digging tools, rock pick, pry bar, chisels, sledges, eye protection, trowels, hat, sunglasses,
sunscreen, sturdy shoes, layered clothing, towels, Drinking water, lunch or snacks.
Contact: Robert Sankovich 805-494-7734 home,    Mike Miller 805-498-9586