Fossil Friday – Joshua Tree mammal bone


The Diamond Valley collection housed at WSC is an extremely rich record of Ice Age life in southern California, but it is far from the only Pleistocene site represented in the museum’s collections.

Right now, fossils of mammoths, camels, bison, horses, and other Ice Age megafauna from Joshua Tree National Park are on display in our “Fossils of Joshua Tree” exhibit. We are actively exploring new Pleistocene sites throughout Riverside County with colleagues from several institutions.

In April, in conjunction with staff from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, we collected this large incomplete mammalian limb bone from Pleistocene deposits near Blythe. It has recently been prepared in our lab, so now ahead is the task of comparing it to other large Ice Age mammal fossils and determining what kind of animal it is. It might belong to a large Ice Age camel such as Camelops hesternus, the species also found at Diamond Valley, La Brea Tar Pits, and many other sites in North America. We have much more discover in southern California’s Pleistocene.

Post by Curator Dr. Andrew McDonald.

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