The La Brea Tar Pits: A Treasure Trove of Ice Age Fossils in Los AngelesBy Carolinearnoldtravel @CarolineSArnold
The tar pits and Page Museum are my favorite places to take visitors to Los Angeles. Nowhere else on Earth is there a place like it. In geologic time, 10,000 years ago is quite recent. It is not hard to imagine that if we were living in California back then (and there were Native Americans living in the Los Angeles basin at that time) that we could have had mammoths in our back yards. The fact that the tar has preserved so many of the animals that lived in California during the Ice Age, and which are now extinct, makes the La Brea discoveries unique.
The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits are on land that once belonged to Captain G. Allen Hancock, who operated oil wells there. Today, the oil wells are gone, and the land is a county park named after Captain Hancock. In the park are both the tar pits, including pit 91 which is still being excavated, and the George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries. Several models of Ice Age animals, including giant ground sloths and a short-faced bear, are also located in the park. In the lake outside the museum, models of a mother and baby mammoth appear to be sinking into the tar, just as real mammoths met their deaths in the past.
The remains of over 420 different kinds of animals are among the Rancho La Brea discoveries. Most fossils found at Rancho La Brea are used for scientific research, but inside the museum are representative examples of all the larger animals, providing visitors with an appreciation of the enormous variety of life that roamed the Los Angeles basin 10,000 to 40,000 years ago. Many of the bones excavated from the tar pits are of predators–dire wolves, sabertooth cats, American lions (yes, North America did once have lions), and short-faced bears. One of my favorite exhibits is a frieze of dire wolf skulls. The remains of more than 1600 dire wolves, more than those of any other single animal, have been found at Rancho La Brea. The wolves hunted in packs. When their prey became stuck in tar and they jumped on to attack it, the wolves often became victims of the tar as well.
The museum is very kid-friendly, with numerous hands-on exhibits. You can touch a fossil bone, try to pull a rod out of sticky tar, or listen to the roar of an animated wooly mammoth. I always take visitors to watch the short movie that introduces the museum and gives an overview of the Ice Age and tar pit discoveries. You can also look through a window into the lab and see people cleaning and sorting fossils. Some of the most important finds are the micro-fossils, small bits of plants, seeds, bones, and other remains that provide clues to the overall environment.
The Page Museum is open 9:30 to 5:00 pm every day of the year except July 4, Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1. For information about tickets, parking, directions, and everything you need to know to plan a visit, go the the Page Museum website plan-your-trip page.
These articles might interest you :
As a travel writer, I am always required to carry a good amount of technology with me. I typically travel alone, with a large rucksack strapped to my back, so i... Read moreThe 23 June 2015 by Eyeandpen
The Murugan temple at PagasalaiThere are a number of temples in Tamil Nadu where Lord Muruga is found alone, without his consorts Valli and Deivanai. Read moreThe 02 July 2015 by Priyabaskar
A year ago today the Grand Caravan pictured above operated by Grant Aviation crashed during its takeoff phase of flight in Alaska. Read moreThe 19 June 2015 by Diverdriver
The Best Secret Restaurants in Lisbon is a small collection of privately held, individual establishments that still operate in the same way in which they were... Read moreThe 19 June 2015 by Nelsoncarvalheiro
FOOD & DRINK, TRAVEL
If you have read our blog posts, you will quickly realize that we are low-budget adventurers at heart. We are fine with rudimentary accommodations, simple budge... Read moreThe 03 July 2015 by Adrenaline Romance
It is always a great feeling to be the first of something. Sweetie and I were quite proud and honored to be among the first real clients of Adventure... Read moreThe 24 June 2015 by Adrenaline Romance
Succumbing to and overcoming the fear of heights is all a part of adventuring. If you wish to enter in into the world of adventure, sooner or later, you will... Read moreThe 19 June 2015 by Adrenaline Romance
MOST POPULAR FROM TRAVEL
- Destinations: Art, culture and history in Prague by Eyeandpen
- doudoune moncler pas cher-Discount and product specifications 8t by Mushir
- Ralph Lauren Femme Manches Longues-Cheap you want to make sure that your policy does not change 0m by Mushir
- Ralph Lauren pantaloncini-Discount creating a twisting movement through your ankles 2b by Mushir
MOST RECOMMENDED IN TRAVEL
- Exploring Jaipur: The Pink City by Wanderingjoshua
- Sunday’s Inspiration: Million Dollar Travel Blogger Johnny Ward Spills the Beans on 150 Countries by Jsbdsl
- The Best Wreck Dive in Okanagan Lake by Expatgermany
- Cruising Praslin Island, Seychelles by Behan Gifford
ON THE TRAVEL FORUM
- War and Remembrance Seasons 1-11 DVD ... Reviewed by Milla Baca
- http://bestnude.thevos.jp/?document_srl=119210 Certified Cloud Operator and Certified ... Reviewed by Maryann Kiernan
- The Snorkeling Trip That Changed My ... Reviewed by Frontiergap
- Looking Back: March Reviewed by Adetola