Wow. This guy’s got to be the best-timed installment of People at Work I’ve ever had in the series.

San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologist Pat Sena dusts off a 5-6” tooth fragment of a giant ground sloth. Photo Courtesy of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Pat Sena, the paleontologist we recently featured, found a giant prehistoric ground sloth at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law construction site Friday.

I characterized him last Monday as the “paleontologist of the hour” — and that was before he found these sloth bone fragments. He thinks the animal might have been 10 to 12 feet long, and six to eight feet tall.

Here’s more from the law school’s press release:

Tooth and skull fragments have been found so far, along with part of a vertebra, at the roughly same depth as the ancient California Gray Whale found at the site last month, indicating that the animal probably lived about 600,000 years ago at the same time as the whale.

This find is in a different part of the excavation site from the whale and mammoth finds, near the Northwest corner of the lot at 11th and Island Avenues, downtown.

San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologist Pat Sena found the remains on Friday March 7, and says the bones are “poorly preserved n possibly not even collectible.”

Now, this is just too much:

Continuing the irony which has marked the fossil find at Thomas Jefferson School of Law — a species of giant ground sloth is named after our law school’s namesake, President Thomas Jefferson — Megalonyx jeffersonii n however it is too soon to tell whether the sloth found on the Thomas Jefferson campus is Megalonyx jeffersonii.


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