Woolly Mammoth Tooth Found in Downtown San Francisco
Paleontologists are examining a tooth from a woolly mammoth, unearthed in downtown San Francisco. Construction workers found the football-sized tooth while digging holes for the foundation of the Transbay Transit Center.
Paleontologist Jim Allen says 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's like forensic science today," Allen said. "You know, when youd find something, it's the dentures, it's the teeth that determine a lot. Even from thousands to millions of years ago."
Allen estimates it'll take a couple of weeks to figure out the exact species and age of the tooth, but it could be from a 10,000-year-old Columbian mammoth.
He says this is one of the first ice age fossils discovered in the city's downtown. Others have been found farther afield, in areas such as Twin Peaks and Bayview.