On March 20th, 2015 we learned about

You keep your camel skulls where?

When you’ve got a belltower, you obviously put the clock and bells up a the top. But what do you do with the other ~275 feet of tower? If you’re the¬†University of California at Berkeley, you fill it with fossils.

While the tower serves obvious bell-oriented purposes, attracting visitors and chiming the time, 5 stories of the tower house 20 tons of fossils. In 1913, when the tower was being built, storage options were in demand, and so the tower was built with high-ceilinged rooms that have stored a large fossil collection from the start. The majority of the bones are local to California, having been pulled from the La Brea Tar Pits 374 miles south in Los Angeles.

While most visitors would never know they were passing a large collection of Ice Age fossils on their way to see the bells in the carillion at the top. But this doesn’t mean the fossils are forgotten by researchers. The massive collection of camels, coyotes, birds, etc. are still used in different lines of research, often used for comparisons of animal growth and measurements of the ecology found in the LA Basin during the Pleistocene period.

Source: Fossil Collection Calls Berkeley's Clock Tower Home by Joe Palca, All Things Considered

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