The bone is believed to be from a Harlan's ground sloth. Pic: LA Brea Tar Pits
Workmen digging a new train line had an "amazing discovery" when they unearthed a giant sloth bone in Los Angeles
The large hip joint is believed to be from a Harlan's Ground Sloth, that would have lived between 40,000 and 11,000 years ago.
The ancient mammal's bone was found 16ft below Crenshaw Boulevard - a major LA thoroughfare.
The animal would have been up to 10ft long and weighed around 1,500lbs (680kg) - the same as a cow.
A sample sloth bone (R) next to the giant sloth find. Pic: LA Brea Tar Pits
A spokesman for the city's metro system said: "This is an amazing discovery."
A fragment of ancient bison bone was also discovered in the same sandy clay layer.
Now a hub for the world's entertainment industry, the LA lowland would have been full of sloths, bison, ancient camels, mastodons and mammoths during the late Pleistocene era.
The bison bone (R) next to a sample bison bone. Pic: LA Brea Tar Pits
But following a series of ice ages - as the glaciers melted and froze - many large mammals in North America became extinct 10,000 years ago, while humans continued to evolve.
Earlier this year LA workmen found bones belonging to an ancient camel and a mastodon and mammoth during a dig to extend another train line beneath Wilshire Boulevard, around 15 miles away.
The fossils will later be transferred, possibly to LA's Natural History Museum, for permanent curation.


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