Workers grading a Carlsbad, California, site in preparation for hundreds of new homes earlier this summer were shocked to find the neighborhood's previous residents still there. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports work was stopped as paleontologists removed fossils—some as old as 200,000 years—belonging to ancient mammoths more than 13 feet tall, a prehistoric bison, horses, and turtles. "I said, 'Take your time, this is kind of cool,'" project superintendent John Suster tells the Union-Tribune.
The fossil of the bison, which lived during the Pleistocene Epoch or last Ice Age, will be put on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum. "It's really an exciting project in terms of the geology and paleontology," curator of paleontology Tom Deméré says. "The fossils have the potential to tell us a great deal about the climate, the environment, the ecology of that time." Construction on the housing project is expected to start next year.