La Brea Tar Pits – page 2

Back inside the Page Museum…

paleontologist Fishbowl

Excavation is always ongoing here, as you can see by the paleontologists hard at work.

Fresh Dire Wolf

Here, a paleontologists shows off a freshly cleaned dire wolf skull. Yes, another one. If dead animal skulls were money, I’m pretty sure the dire wolf would be the equivalent of a penny.

Storage bins

There’s a huge amount of storage trays like this, holding excavation discoveries.


Easily one of the most striking skeletons on display is this mammoth.


Adult saber-toothed cats have creepy faces, but OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT KITTY!


There was a really funny animatronic of a saber toothed cat attacking a giant sloth.

Karen’s narration notwithstanding, it’s still a pretty cool display. Apparently on the weekends, there’s a show they put on with a saber tooth cat created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop folks.

Giant Bug

But it’s not just giant mammals in the pit. Apparently they also have founds remains of giant NOPE bugs.

Steves Llama

Karen took this picture undoubtedly to make a joke at my expense, but then she must have forgotten it.

Area where they're digging

Now, the exact nature of how they do these excavations isn’t clear, so you’ll have to forgive me if I fudge some of the details here (this website has not been approved as an educational resource).

Buckets o tar

You can see in the cross section over there what kind of muck they’re dealing with.

Tar 2 D2

They build cross sections over the deposit so they can work above it without, y’know, falling in (if dire wolves had had thumbs, this would be a very different world).

Tar up close

The square grids and flags are used to pinpoint the locations of fossils in the deposit. Once the fossils are removed (a delicate process, certainly), they’re sent to the folks in the fishbowl to clean it up.

Tar Pits 2

And that’s that. This place is really cool, and definitely worth checking out.

Karen and a sloth

You can even buy a nice sloth toy if you’re into recreating internet memes!

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