Mammoths In Madera

Expedition – Ice Age

Fossil Discoveries

Saber-toothed Cats, Short Faced Bears, and Giant Ground Sloths all dating back over 740,000 years are just a few of the fossils discovered at a garbage dump by a curious worker. In 1993, a seven-foot long Columbian Mammoth tusk was discovered at the Fairmead Landfill in Madera County. It is now home to the Fossil Discovery Center that has over 14,000 Ice Age Mammal fossils including camels, cheetahs, lions and rare prong-horned antelopes. This is the largest deposit of fossils found on the West Coast and is a working facility where paleontologists and college students continue exploring the fossils in nearby digs.

Over 37 species of creatures from the middle Pleistocene period have been uncovered at the site. This is one of the few digs from this era, especially with so many species. You will see eight full-size replicas of the fossils, a 65 million year old Mosasaur fossil, and lots of hands-on treasures. There are dig site tours, a paleontology dig to explore and paleontologists on-staff to answer questions. A viewing room is also at the center for visitors to watch paleontologists and volunteers clean and identify the specimens. Visit or call 559.665.7107. The Fossil Center is only eight miles from the Madera Municipal Airport (MAE) and the Madera Jet Center has courtesy cars to make it easy to visit. or 559.675.1400.