Ironically the title of this article isn’t that surprising, after-all all of the Jurassic Parks (even the woefully bad ones) were filmed in L.A. But what if I told you that there are real dinosaurs in L.A.? OK not exactly dinosaurs but how about mega-fauna from the Ice Age?! I know it’s not as exciting as dinosaurs but work with me here.
Did you know that the La Brea Tar Pits in L.A. when translated to English are: The The Tar Tar Pits? Or that in 2007 researchers found that the methane bubbling to the surface of the pits was a result of up to 300 previously undiscovered bacteria species digesting crude oil and producing the gas? The great thing is that there is much more to see at The The Tar Tar Pits.
La Brea Tar Pits
The tar pits and their usefulness of tar isn’t anything new, before California was colonized the Native Americans of the area, Tongva and Chumash tribes, used the sticky black substance to waterproof their boats and the roofs of their homes. For other prehistoric inhabitants of the area, it was less useful and much more deadly. Before humans started bothering nature, nature bothered itself, allow me to elaborate. Often the tar (or asphalt) on the surface of the pits would solidify just enough for a misleading layer of dust and leaves could gather. Then a poor animal would try to cross this misleading, barely solidified layer and get stuck in the tar, to die a slow and agonizing death…but because nature is a vindictive b… predators would go to the trapped animal thinking it would make an easy meal and get stuck itself. Dumb predators. Lucky for us tar does a great job of preserving the bones of these tricked, drowned and slightly chewed upon animals.
The George C. Page Museum
Here you will find the over 750,000 species excavated from the dark depths of the Tar pit. These include practically intact fossils of Mammoths, sabertooth tigers, American lions and bear…yes, lions, tiger and bears oh my, moving on Dorothy. Not only will you get to see models and actual fossils, but since L.A. is the capital of entertainment you will also see scientists in a glass case sifting through recently found tar samples for your entertainment! No, actually it’s actually for the sake of scientific discovery, but potato pot-ato.
The Tar Pits
Funny enough, humans aren’t much smarter than a lot of the animals they get to gawk at in the museum, so the majority of the Tar Pits are fence in, permitting dumb people from getting stuck in them. What you can do is stroll over to the Observation Pit though that allows you to take a look into one of the tar pits complete with real bones found on site.