A pit-stop at Los Angeles, California
The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits is located off the Wilshire Boulevard, in the heart of Los Angeles, California, United States. The park has a history of dramatic archeological discoveries in the early 1940's. The fossils are beautifully presented in the Page Museum.
The Page Museum displays excavations from the La Brea Tar Pits, an accessible paleontological site. It is an exciting place for children and adults to visit and get a glimpse of what the area was like with the large mammoths, saber tooth cats, dire wolves among others.
The Asphalt, commonly called Tar (or Brea in Spanish), derived from petroleum deposits, reaches the ground surface at several places in the park. Methane gas also seeps up, causing bubbles which makes the asphalt appear to boil. It was recently discovered that the bubbles are caused by forms of bacteria embedded in the natural asphalt that are eating away at the petroleum and releasing methane. Because of recent minor earthquake activity, there was a new small pool of tar in the middle of a lush green park!
These sticky tar pools trapped animals and plants. Over time, the tar fossilized the remains. Pit 91 continues to be excavated and unravel mysteries from the past.
What we see today is a collection of fossils dating from the last ice age. These finds give us a fascinating view of the past!