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  Geologic Time

Pleistocene (Ice Age)  •  Pliocene (Shoreline)  •  Middle to Late Miocene (Deep Sea)  •  
Early Miocene (Fossil Reef)  •  Evolutionary Time

Pleistocene (Ice Age)
(50,000 years ago)

 
Coastal emergence caused shallow bay muds to become savannas and plains.  Saddleback Mountain rose and was carved into valleys and foothills by streams.  Forty-two Ice Age animal species lived in these valleys and their fossils have been preserved under Alicia Parkway and Costeau Park.

Forty percent of the Laguna Hills Ice Age Fauna became extinct by 11,000 years ago due to an increasingly arid climate.  The oldest evidence of humans in Orange County is about 9000 years ago.
 

 

Pleistocene (Ice Age)  •  Pliocene (Shoreline)  •  Middle to Late Miocene (Deep Sea)  •  
Early Miocene (Fossil Reef)  •  Evolutionary Time

Pliocene (Shoreline)
(2 million years ago)

 
After millions of years, the sea floor gradually rose to become a shallow embayment. Marine fossils are found today under Nellie Gail Ranch.
 



Pleistocene (Ice Age)  •  Pliocene (Shoreline)  •  Middle to Late Miocene (Deep Sea)  •  
Early Miocene (Fossil Reef)  •  Evolutionary Time

Middle to Late Miocene (Deep Sea)
(13 million years ago)

 
The sinking sea floor created a deep ocean where the Los Angeles Basin is today. The Laguna Hills sea floor was over a mile below sea level.  Whales, dolphins, and sharks were common residents.
 



Pleistocene (Ice Age)  •  Pliocene (Shoreline)  •  Middle to Late Miocene (Deep Sea)  •  
Early Miocene (Fossil Reef)  •  Evolutionary Time

Early Miocene (Fossil Reef)
(17 million years ago)

 
The oldest Laguna Hills fossils represent a shallow marine fauna similar to life found in the Carabbean today. Fossil Reef Park, west of the community center is a limestone deposit with pecten shells (scallops), moon snails, and clams.
 

 

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