PaleoServices monitored excavations for a subterranean parking structure during construction of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law campus building in downtown San Diego. Excavations revealed a 27-foot thick, layer cake sequence of the Pleistocene-age Bay Point Formation that produced remains of a diversity of invertebrate and vertebrate fossils. Most notably, a disarticulated skeleton of an extinct gray whale (Eschrichtius sp.) was discovered in a sandstone layer near the bottom of the excavation, and a partial skeleton of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) was discovered higher in section. The discovery of large marine and land mammal skeletons on one project site is rare, and PaleoServices staff worked with construction personnel to expedite the salvage process—the whale skeleton was removed in two to three days.
Civita is a new residential community in the Mission Valley neighborhood of San Diego. Earthwork primarily involved mass grading, which impacted Pleistocene-age river terrace deposits, resting on much older marine sandstones of the middle Eocene-age Mission Valley Formation. A diversity of terrestrial vertebrate fossils including remains of horse, ground sloth, camel, deer, and a variety of small reptiles, birds, and mammals were recovered from the Pleistocene terrace deposits. A small assemblage of clams and snails was recovered from the Mission Valley Formation.
The Sol Y Mar project involved construction of a new 7.7-acre residential community in Rancho Palos Verdes. Paleontological monitoring primarily occurred during rough grading of the project site, which impacted deposits of the Altamira Shale Member of the Monterey Formation (middle Miocene Epoch, 12 to 13 million years old). Recovered fossils included remains of marine algae, sharks, bony fish, and mammals. The bony fish assemblage was particularly diverse, and included a mixture of both shallow water and deep water species.
This project involved construction of a new hospital tower for the Cardiovascular Institute at the Scripps Memorial Hospital Campus in La Jolla. Excavations exposed nearly 100 vertical feet of middle Eocene sedimentary rocks representing the Ardath Shale and Scripps Formation, and the Pleistocene-age Lindavista Formation. Fossils were recovered from five localities in the Scripps Formation, and included remains of several species of clams and snails, as well as remains of terrestrial land plants.