La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits” is a redundant name (translation: The The Tar Tar Pits), but it means well, is incredibly cool, and consistently tops rank as one of my favorite places to go in Los Angeles.

It is the single largest active ice age fossil dig on the planet, and everybody should go there at least once in their life, for it is glorious.

Fossil Museum

Active Tar Pits

Animals saw the pond, wandered in for a drink, and got trapped in the tar

They’re still bubbling today, and if you fell in you’d likely be screwed.

Paleontologists find predator to prey at a 10:1 ratio, likely because after the thirsty animal falls in and gets stuck, it cries out for help, ringing the chow bell for all predators within earshot.

Jokes on the predator.

They jump on the mammoth for a quick & easy steak dinner, but then they slip and get stuck in the tar, too.

Now they’re both screwed.

They die and sink and the world turns. Again and again the process repeats itself, over and over, for thousands of years, and today the fossil bed at La Brea Tar Pits is a densely packed super-concentration of perfectly preserved Ice Age fauna fossils. It is a truly impressive piece of the planet and its history, and all should go.

Active Fossil Dig

La Brea Tar Pits Paleontologists get to do Fossil Science every day. If you’re really into Paleo, you can Volunteer to work with fossils, too. Which is awesome.