Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits Review
Do your children have prehistoric animals on the brain? Show them where Ice Age fossils come from by taking them to the stickiest park in town. The area formed when deposits of oil rose to the earth's surface, collected in shallow pools, and coagulated into asphalt. In the early 20th century, geologists discovered that all that goo contained the largest collection of Pleistocene, or Ice Age, fossils ever found at one location: more than 600 species of birds, mammals, plants, reptiles, and insects. Roughly 100 tons of fossil bones have been removed in excavations during the last 100 years, making this one of the world's most famous fossil sites. You can see most of the pits through chain-link fences. (La Brea Tar Pits can be a little smelly, but your kids are sure to love it.)
Pit 91 and Project 23 are ongoing excavation projects; tours are available, and you can volunteer to help with the excavations in summer. There are several pits scattered around Hancock Park and the surrounding neighborhood; construction in the area has often had to accommodate them, and in nearby streets and along sidewalks, little bits of tar occasionally ooze up, unstoppable. The museum displays fossils from the tar pits and has a glass-walled laboratory that allows visitors a rare look at where paleontologists and volunteers work on specimens.
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