La Brea Tar Pits & Museum.

Los Angeles is home to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.  It is one of the most visited places in Southern California.  On a recent visit, we explored the museum and watched a 3D movie.  Our entire family found the experience unique and valuable.  Continue reading to find out what we found fun about the visit.
The La Brea Tar Pits is located 5801 Wilshire Blvd. in the heart of Los Angeles, California.  It is neighbors to LACMA, Craft & Folk Museum and The Petersen Automobile Museum.  The La Brea Tar Pits is one of the most interesting places that you will experience because of the subject matter.  They host ice age fossils that tell the story of Los Angeles as it took place hundreds of millions of years ago.  Buried in the tar, scientists continue to find a wide variety of animals that roamed the area of Los Angeles.  Coyotes to Sabre Tooth Tigers and even beetles or as we call them, Stink Bugs, are still being discovered today during excavations.  The museum hosts a live laboratory where visitors can view from behind glass windows the process of fossil identification know as the "Fish Bowl".  Some of this process has to be completed under a microscope so scientists can place broken fossils together. The  use of their microscope and a fine tipped paint brush, the scientists move fossil pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle in their identification process. It is very engaging to watch the scientist work their magic inside the "Fish Bowl". 
This museum is extremely import because it gives us a window into the history of Southern California and it occupants. Some of those occupants are still living in Southern California like the coyotes. During your visit you will be able to see evidence that the coyotes have survived thousands of years. It is an incredible moment when you see the evidence of life thousand years ago. The museum is not very large in size, but it's artifacts, fossils and information is rich with knowledge. I hope that  you visit the museum with your family and friends. 
For history fans: Important dates and people that you want to know regarding the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum:
(information taken from http://www.tarpits.org/la-brea-tar-pits)

  • 1875 W. Denton first describes fossils from Rancho La Brea 
  • 1901 W. W. Orcutt and F. Anderson excavate at Rancho La Brea 
  • 1905 J. C. Merriam from the University of California at Berkeley visits the locality and excavates 
  • 1907 J. Z. Gilbert LA High School brings students to excavate 
  • 1910 J. Z. Gilbert opened ‘Academy’ pit with funding from Southern Californian Academy of Sciences 
  • 1913 Hancock owner of the ranch gives exclusive rights to Los Angeles County to dig for two years 
  • 1913-1915 are the best documented excavations by the museum and yields 750,000 specimens in 96 sites 
  • 1924 Hancock Park designated as a protected park and donated to Los Angeles County 
  • 1929-1931 Bliss and others occasionally excavate for the museum 
  • 1945 core samples taken around the park to look for more sites 
  • 1963 Rancho La Brea is designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service 
  • 1969 Pit 91 is reopened in order to collect intense samples due to original collecting biases (left at 10 ft. in 1915) 
  • 1969-2007 Pit 91 intensely sampled 
  • 1975 The George C. Page Museum of La Brea Discoveries opens in 1977 
  • 1985 Salvage of Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Japanese Pavilion site and the Hancock Family dump site 
  • 2006 16 fossil deposits discovered during the construction of LACMA’s underground parking structure 
  • 2008 Project 23 salvage begins to excavate 23 tree boxes and prepare a near-complete mammoth 
  • 2015 The Page Museum is renamed the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum to highlight the tar pits
Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are all my own. 
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