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La Brea Tar Pits: Sink Into History

February 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Things to Do

The geological landscape of California is fascinating—there’s a whole lot going down beneath the surface. One place where it bubbles up is Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits. These bubbling pits of tar formed the core of Hancock Park in the middle of the city, and within their depths are awesome records of centuries past. In past ages, animals would wander into the pits—which are often covered with a thin layer of water—sink in and drown. Starting in the 1960s, scientists began extracting these bones and reassembling them, and the George C. Page Museum was built to showcase these finds, which include wooly mammoths, saber-toothed tigers, dire wolves and more. Only one human fossil has been found— the skeleton of a woman, apparently the victim of a homicide, dating back to 9,000 BC.

The La Brea Tar Pits are the only paleontological sites located within the borders of a major city, which is a rarity in and of itself.

La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-7243
www.tarpits.org

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