La Brea Tar Pits

Our second visit in LA was La Brea Tar Pits, a registered National Natural Landmark, which is a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed. Natural asphalt (also called brea in Spanish, therefore the name “La Brea” for the place) has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years entrapping a great number of animals and preserving their bones. At the present time, the specimens are displayed in the George C. Page Museum, which is also dedicated to researching the tar pits. The exhibition included, among others, a sloth, a dire wolf (which, as a matter of fact, is much smaller than the one portrayed in the Game of Thrones TV series – myth busted), a mammoth, and a range of birds. We were even able to peek inside the Paleontology Laboratory and observe the work of the scientists. The visit at La Brea made us ponder over how such a tragic process, which caused the death of so many animals, contributed to the preservation of them, bringing fuller knowledge about their existence.

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