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Field Trip to Diamond Valley Lake

10/22/2007 - Field Trip to Diamond Valley Lake

On Saturday, November 3, San Bernardino County Museum Curator of Paleontology Eric Scott will lead a field trip to Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet to see the lake and the new Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology. Registration for this one-day trip is now open.

Participants will see many of the fossils collected by paleontologists from the San Bernardino County Museum over the course of a decade, now on display at the new Hemet facility. "The inland valleys of southern California were replete with so many ancient animals," says Scott. "But much of the focus on the Ice Ages in southern California centers on more coastal sites, such as the Rancho La Brea 'tar pits'. Diamond Valley Lake provides us with a chance to see what life was like when you didn't live near the coast or near tar pits."

During the Pleistocene Epoch the "Ice Ages" - the inland valleys of southern California were populated by an amazing variety of strange and wonderful large mammals. The fossil bones of these great beasts were buried for millennia, until the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California constructed the largest freshwater reservoir in southern California: Diamond Valley Lake. Beginning in 1993, scientists from the San Bernardino County Museum have studied fossils of animals and plants that they excavated from the reservoir and surrounding areas. Spectacular finds include the largest mastodons yet reported from the western United States, as well as mammoths, horses, camels, bison, and carnivorans such as dire wolves and sabre-toothed cats.

Scott will lead trip participants to the scenic overlook viewing Diamond Valley Lake from above the reservoir's west dam. He will then lead a tour through the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology, discussing the fossil finds and the unique behind-the-scenes details on the discoveries, their history, and significance.

The trip will leave the museum at 9:00 a.m. and return at about 4:00 p.m. The cost is $60 per person ($50 for members of the San Bernardino County Museum Association), which includes transportation, snacks, lunch, and admission fees to the Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology. Space is limited and pre-paid reservations are required by October 22. Please call LaWanda Avery-Brown at (909) 307-2669 ext. 225 for reservation.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. For more information, visit or call (909) 307-2669 or TDD (909) 792-1462.



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