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- Scientific resource
- Flora and fauna
- Human presence
La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles. Natural asphalt has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years. The tar is often covered with dust, leaves, or water. Over many centuries, the tar preserved the bones of trapped animals. The George C. Page Museum is dedicated to researching the tar pits and displaying specimens from the animals that died there. La Brea Tar Pits is a registered National Natural Landmark.
Tar pits are composed of heavy oil fractions called gilsonite, which seeps from the Earth as oil. In Hancock Park, crude oil seeps up along the 6th Street Fault from the Salt Lake Oil Field, which underlies much of the Fairfax District north of the park. The oil reaches the surface and forms pools, becoming asphalt as the lighter fractions of the petroleum biodegrade or evaporate. The asphalt then normally hardens into stubby mounds. The pools and mounds can be seen in several areas of the park.
The Native American Chumash and Tongva people living in the area built boats unlike any others in North America prior to contact by settlers. Pulling fallen Northern California redwood trunks and pieces of driftwood from the Santa Barbara Channel, their ancestors learned to seal the cracks between the boards of the large wooden plank canoes by using the natural resource of tar. This innovative form of transportation allowed access up and down the coastline and to the Channel Islands. The ...
Contemporary excavations of the bones started in 1913–1915. In the 1940s and 1950s, public excitement was generated by the preparation of previously recovered large mammal bones. A subsequent study demonstrated the fossil vertebrate material was well preserved, with little evidence of bacterial degradation of bone protein. They are believed to be some 10–20,000 years old, dating from the last glacial period.
Among the prehistoric species associated with the La Brea Tar Pits are Pleistocene mammoths, dire wolves, short-faced bears, American lions, ground sloths, and, the state fossil of California, the saber-toothed cat. The park is known for producing myriad mammal fossils dating from the last glacial period. While mammal fossils generate significant interest, other fossils, including fossilized insects and plants, and even pollen grains, are also valued. These fossils help define a picture of what
Only one human has been found, a partial skeleton of the La Brea Woman dated to around 10,000 calendar years BP, who was 17 to 25 years old at death and found associated with remains of a domestic dog, so was interpreted to have been ceremonially interred. In 2016, however, the dog was determined to be much younger in date. John C. Merriam of the University of California led much of the original work in this area early in the 1900s. Also, some even older fossils showed possible tool marks, indic
Apr 16, 2021 · La Brea Tar Pits – group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles, California, US. The park is known for producing myriad mammal fossils dating from the Pleistocene epoch, including the La Brea Woman.
6 days ago · The La Brea Tar Pits Museum reopened on April 8. Travel back in local time at the "Mammoths & Mastodons" exhibit and check out what paleontologists are studying at the Fossil Lab. 20/31 The Autry...
3 days ago · SSI’s Kristiane Hill revolutionizes fossil recovery at the La Brea Tar Pits. ... Los Angeles, CA 90089-0374 Telephone: +1 213 740 5910 FAX: +1 213 740 9687 Email us.
5 days ago · Last night it was reported oil and tar was seeping out of the ground on Wilshire Bl. at Curson Ave. across the street from the La Brea Tar Pits. The reporter seemed surprised and no one from the city nor the Tar Pits could be contacted to comment on the so called surprise.
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6 days ago · READ MORE: La Brea Tar Pits Reopens For First Time Since March 2020 According to the museum, capacity was being limited to 25% and tickets must be reserved online in advance. Tickets range in price from $25 to $29 for adults, and $21 to $24 for students and seniors. Children ages 4 to 11 pay $13, while children age 3 and under get in free.
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