La Brea Tar Pits

I don’t know if I should admit to this, but I had never heard of the La Brea Tar Pits until I saw 1993’s awful Schwarzenegger film “Last Action Hero.” That film’s recreation of the area didn’t exactly inspire me to want to go. Karen, on the other hand, was aware of it at a much earlier age from watching episodes of “Thundarr the Barbarian,” and that exposure made her really excited about going.

La Brea Tar Pits

The tar pits are part of Hancock Park, located in the Miracle Mile section of L.A. The pits themselves consist of natural asphalt that has been seeping up from the ground for literally thousands of years.

Page signage

Excavation of these pits has led to the discovery of dozens of different animal fossils, many of which are on display at the George C. Page Museum.

Page Museum

By the way, “La Brea” translates to “The Tar,” so this place is technically “The The Tar Tar Pits.” There is a small admission fee, so be sure to stop by the ATM machine.

Karen and a sloth

Hancock Park has no admission, of course, so you can wander around the tar pits themselves, or get your picture taken with some statues of extinct animals (like the giant ground sloth with Karen).

Performing Dude outside Page

This dude was performing outside the museum, and I’m pretty sure he was playing selections from the original motion picture soundtrack of “Raising Arizona.”

Fossil bones

Inside the museum. Here’s some bones recovered from one of the pits, including a human leg bone.

Saber Toothed Cat

There are several full size skeletons on display, like this saber toothed cat…

Horse

Here’s a full horse skeleton.

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Am I the only person who thought Dire Wolves were made up for Game of Thrones? They weren’t.

Condor

I’m afraid that I’m not positive on some of the birds. I believe this is a condor.

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No clue what this is, but it looks like it was delicious.

Vulture

And of course this is a Skeksis.

Golden Eagle Foot Bones at the La Brea Tar Pits

That’s a lot of Golden Eagle Foot Bones. What happened to the rest of them?

Dire Wolf skulls

And although this seems like an extreme amount of dire wolf heads, there is a logic at play: a large animal gets stuck in a tar pit, and a pack of wolves think it’s easy chow time. They all jump on to grab something to eat. Then they all go down together. No one said dire wolves were smart.

Page Museum Atrium

If you need a break, there’s a lovely open air atrium in the center of the museum.


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