Bulletin of the Southern California Paleontological Society, vol. 2, no. 3, March 1970, p. 1-5


by    Jack D. Mount¹

      Last year the City of Los Angeles started removing earth from its Harbor District Yard in San Pedro, California, the resulting pit to be used as a trash disposal site. This excavating uncovered a highly fossiliferous portion of the Palos Verdes Sand. Due to the increasing popularity of this fossil site I thought it would be useful to list all of the fossils found up to the present time.

      The locality has been designated Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Section of Invertebrate Paleontology (LACMIP) number 1210 (same as California State College, Los Angeles, Department of Geology locality number 751), and is located 4700 feet northeast of the intersection of Gaffey Street and Channel Street at an elevation of 120 feet. The fossiliferous layer, which is about 4 feet thick, runs almost the entire length of an artificial cut on the north boundary of the disposal site.

      To date, I have identified 154 invertebrates from the collections of California State College, Los Angeles County Museum, and Jack Schwartz, Whittier, California. These are listed in table one. Cancellaria tritonidea is the only extinct form in the fauna; thus, the fauna is most certainly late Pleistocene in age.

      The paleoecology may be briefly stated as follows. The majority of the invertebrates live today on sand or rocky rubble in shallow (less than 50 feet), protected or semi-protected embayment type of environment. Tropical forms in this fauna such as the Dendraster, Mellita, Ischnochiton, Eupleura, Macron and Laevicardium indicate that this shallow water was somewhat warmer than the ocean is at this latitude today. The fauna is ecologically diverse with contributions from other environments. Tegula and some of the species of Calliostoma and Acmaea live in an exposed rocky shore and show that this environment was about the same temperature as at present. Melampus and Cerithidea live in a backbay tidal mud flat. Cold water indicators such as Chlamys, Cyclocardia and Glycymeris profunda may have washed up from greater depths.


Table 1. Check list of late Pleistocene marine invertebrate fossils from the Palos Verdes Sand at LACMIP locality 1210, San Pedro, Los Angeles County, California.


Balanus regalis Pilsbry
B. tintinnabulum californicus Pilsbry
Cetolepus sp.
Crab fragments
Disporella ovoidea Osborn
Dendraster vizcainoensis Grant and Hertlein
Mellita kanakoffi Durham
Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Stimpson)
Ischnochiton acrior Carpenter
Acanthina spirata (Blainville)
Acmaea insessa (Hinds)
A. paleacea Gould
Acteocina culcitella (Gould)
A. inculta (Gould)
Acteon punctocaelatus (Carpenter)
Admete cf. A. couthouyi (Jay)
Aesopus chrysalloides (Carpenter)
Astraea undosa (Wood)
Balcis micans (Carpenter)
Bittium eschrichtii Middendorf
B. quadrifilatum Carpenter
Bulla gouldiana Pilsbry
B. punctulata Adams
Bursa californica (Hinds)
Caecum californicum Dall
Calliostoma canaliculatum (Lightfoot)
C. gemmulatum Carpenter
C. gloriosum Dall
C. supragranosum Carpenter
C. tricolor Gabb
Cancellaria tritonidea Gabb
Calyptraea fastigiata Gould
Cerithidea californica (Haldeman)
Clathromangelia interfossa (Carpenter)
Clavus hemphilli (Stearns)
Collisella limatula (Carpenter) (=Acmaea limatula)
Conus californicus Hinds
Crepidula arenata (Broderip)
C. excavata Broderip
C. onyx Sowerby
C. perforans (Valenciennes)
Crepipatella lingulata (Gould)
Crucibulum spinosum (Sowerby)
Diodora inaequalis (Sowerby)
Epitonium indianorum (Carpenter)
Erato columbella Menke
Eupleura muriciformis Broderip
Fissurella volcano Reeve
Forreria belcheri (Hinds)
Hipponix antiquatus (Linne)
H. tumens Carpenter
Iselica fenestrata Carpenter
Jaton festivus (Hinds)
Lirularia optabilis (Carpenter)
L. parcipicta (Carpenter)
Littorina scutulata (Gould)
Lucapinella callomarginata (Carpenter)
Macron aethiops (Reeve)
Mangelia sp.
Megasurcula carpenteriana (Gabb)
Megathura crenulata (Sowerby)
Melampus olivaceous Carpenter
Micranellum crebrecinctum (Carpenter)
Mitrella carinata (Hinds)
M. carinata gausapata (Gould)
M. tuberosa (Carpenter)
Nassarius cerritensis (Arnold)
N. fossatus (Gould)
N. mendicus cooperi (Forbes)
N. perpinguis (Hinds)
N. tegulus (Reeve)
Neverita reclusiana (Deshayes)
Ocenebra foveolata (Hinds)
O. poulsoni Carpenter
Olivella biplicata (Sowerby)
O. pedroana (Conrad)
Ophiodermella fancherae (Dall)
Serpulorbis squamigerus (Carpenter)
Sinum scopulosum (Conrad)
Tegula eiseni Jordan (=T. ligulata, auctt. not Menke)
T. funebralis (Adams)
T. gallina (Forbes)
Terebra danai Berry (=T. specillata, auctt. not Hinds)
T. pedroana Dall
Tricolia compta (Gould)
Triphora pedroana Bartsch
Trivia californiana (Gray)
Turbonilla spp.
Vermicularia sp.
Volvarina taeniolata Morch
Zonaria spadicea (Swainson)
Amiantus callosa (Conrad)
Anadara perlabiata (Grant and Gale)
Anomia peruviana d'Orbigny
Argopecten aequisulcatus (Carpenter)
Chama pellucida Broderip
Chione californiensis (Sowerby)
C. californiensis (Sowerby) var.
C. gnidia (Broderip and Sowerby)
C. picta Willett
Chlamys hastata (Sowerby)
Corbula luteola Carpenter
Crassinella branneri (Arnold)
C. nuculiformis (Berry)
Cryptomya californica (Conrad)
Cumingia californica Conrad
Cyclocardia cf. C. ventricosa (Gould)
Diplodonta orbellus (Gould)
D. sericata (Reeve)
Donax californicus (Conrad)
D. gouldi Dall
Florimetis obesa (Deshayes) (=Apolymetis biangulata (Carpenter))
Glycymeris profunda (Dall)
G. subobsoleta Carpenter
Here excavata (Carpenter)
Hinnites multirugosus (Gale)
Laevicardium elatum (Sowerby)
L. substriatum (Conrad)
Leptopecten monotimeris (Conrad)
Lima hemphilli Hertlein and Strong
Lithophaga plumula (Hanley)
Lucinisca nuttalli (Conrad)
Macoma elytrum Keen
M. nasuta (Conrad)
Mactra californica Conrad
Modiolus capax (Conrad)
Mytilus californianus Conrad
Nucula suprastriata Arnold
Nuculana taphria (Dall)
Ostrea lurida Carpenter
Panope abrupta (Conrad) (=P. generosa Gould)
Parapholas californica (Conrad)
Petricola californiensis Pilsbry and Lowe
P. parallela Pilsbry and Lowe
Pitar newcombiana (Gabb)
Pododesmus cf. P. cepio (Gray) (=P. macroschisma, auctt. not Deshayes)
Protothaca laciniata (Conrad)
P. staminea (Conrad)
Sanguinolaria nuttalli (Conrad)
Saxidomas nuttalli Conrad
Semele decisa (Conrad)
S. quentinensis Dall
S. rupicola (Conrad)
Tagelus subteres (Conrad)
Tellina bodegensis Hinds
Tivela stultorum (Mawe)
Trachycardium procerum (Sowerby)
T. quadragenarium (Conrad)
Transennella tantilla (Gould)
Tresus nuttalli (Conrad)
Zirfaea pilsbryi Lowe
Cadulus fusiformis Pilsbry and Sharp
Dentalium neohexagonum Sharp and Pilsbry
D. pretiosum Sowerby
Cliona sp.

¹Department of Geology, California State College at Los Angeles, 90032.

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