La Brea Tar Pits

June 28, 2013 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Top Attractions, Uniquely Los Angeles

La Brea Tar Pits Museum

The La Brea Tar Pits Museum. Photo courtesy of Dallas Krentzel via Flickr.

Imagine a time long before Wilshire Boulevard, thousands of years ago when giant mammals walked the earth. Mastodons, saber-toothed cats, and 1500 pound sloths all lived, fought, ate and died among the very beaches of Los Angeles. Predator and prey and the eternal cycle of life was fulfilled here every day, and this past reality comes back to life in the exciting exhibits at the La Brea Tar Pits.

Visitors to the La Brea Tar Pits get a unique perspective on the archaeological process and how these special scientists bring the past alive in their exhibits. After initially learning about the excavation process and the exciting natural wonders which occur every day there, visitors can head back inside the Page Museum and see these creatures reconstructed as if alive today. In addition, budding scientist can get a glimpse of the actual archeologists at work, reconstructing unearthed skeletons in the Fishbowl Lab. From huge mastodon skeletons on display, to the Ice Age Encounters exhibit, you’ll leave the La Brea Tar Pits with a new, visceral understanding of life in the Pleistocene.

How did all this come about happening? Natural seepage of oil deposits deep in the earth accumulated en-masse in La Brea, much to the ignorance of the hapless Pleistocene mammals. But what made for their demise, made for our reconstruction of the Los Angeles area thousands of years earlier.

Visiting the La Brea Tar Pits is an easy enough proposition. The Tar Pits are open daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm except for major holidays. They’re one of the premier outdoor activities in Los Angeles, and you shouldn’t miss them.

-Hudson Hornick

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