Through PaleoServices, the Paleontology Department is regularly involved in construction projects throughout southern California and the Central Valley.
Typical mitigation programs include on-site monitoring of active excavations, discovery and recovery of exposed fossils, transportation of recovered specimens to a professional preparation/conservation laboratory, laboratory-based preparation and curation of recovered fossils, and permanent storage of curated fossils in our paleontological collections, where they are available for present and future generations of citizens, students, and professional scientists.
Projects range from large residential developments involving mass grading of millions of cubic yards of sedimentary rock, to high-rise buildings with subterranean parking structures, to shopping malls, or individual buildings. More.
PaleoServices has worked on a diversity of project involving the construction of new roadways and railways, or improvements to existing transportation infrastructure. More.
Utility projects include construction of electrical transmission lines and substations, sewer and water pipelines, and landfills. PaleoServices also provides services for renewable energy project such as construction of solar and wind energy facilities, and during construction on oil and gas fields. More.
PaleoServices staff provide paleontological record searches, resource assessments, field surveys, mitigation plans, and related services for a diversity of projects.
Specimens collected in Antarctica have allowed a team of scientists, including Dr. Ashley Poust of The Nat, to update the fossil record of giant birds. The 50 million-year-old fossils belong to an extinct group of ocean-going birds with large tooth-like spikes in their beaks. This discovery may be the oldest example of truly giant flying birds and adds to our understanding of the evolution of coastal ecosystems worldwide. Read more.
An unusual fossil deposit containing skeletal remains of extinct mammals—including camels, oreodonts, rodents, and possibly a large carnivore—was recently unearthed by The Nat's Paleo Services team at a construction site for new U.S. Land Port of Entry in Otay Mesa. Read more.
South Korean paleontologist accesses 3D models of dinosaur fossils that were collected by Charles Sternberg and housed in The Nat’s collection, resulting in publication of two recent scientific papers. Read more.
A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China, and described by American and Chinese authors in the journal, The Anatomical Record. The fossil preserves feathers and bones that provide new information about how dinosaurs grew and how they differed from birds. Read more.
In the spirit of the decade-spanning top ten lists that abound in our collective news feeds, we asked our curators to nominate two to three of the best specimens that were collected or discovered in the 2010s. We got 17 nominations, and musuem staff and volunteers voted to narrow the list down to “The Top 10 Specimens of the 2010s.” Read more.