Woolly Mammoth Tooth Found in San Francisco - NBC Bay Area

Woolly Mammoth Tooth Found in San Francisco

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority intends to donate the find to the California Academy of Sciences.

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    Woolly Mammoth Tooth Found in San Francisco

    The Transbay Joint Powers Authority discovered the tooth and part of a jaw, while working on construction of the Transbay Transit Center (Published Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012)

    San Francisco wasn't always the bustling metropolis it is today.

    11,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene Period, the City was a grassy valley, similar to the Serengheti of East Africa.

    Before City by the Bay was home to techies, hippies and hipsters, it was home to saber tooth cats, giant ground sloths and woolly mammoths. 

    Evidence to support this was discovered Monday, when the Transbay Joint Powers Authority unearthed a tooth and part of a jaw that once belonged to a woolly mammoth.

    The tooth was found at the east end of the Transbay Transit Center jobsite, about 110 feet below the construction surface, by crane operator Brandon Valasik.

    The TJPA is excited about the find.

    “We are thrilled with the discovery of this rare find,” said Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, Executive Director of the TJPA. “Preserving the artifacts from San Francisco’s early history that lie below the future site of the Transit Center has been a high priority throughout construction, and archaeologists have been with the project since we broke ground, but this fascinating reminder of the Bay Area’s rich natural history was truly unexpected,” she said.

    According to the TJPA's paleontology consultant, the tooth has been preserved nicely. The tooth and jaw are estimated to be about 11,000 years old, and will be sent for further evaluations.

    The TJPA intends to donate the discovery to the Cal Academy of Sciences.

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