Monday, November 7, 2011

The Tar Pits... of death

This Woolly Mammoth exhibit moves and seems quite life-like
The Page Museum is a fun place to visit.

For some reason I'd always thought the La Brea Tar Pits were full of dinosaur bones.  I discovered I was wrong!  It's full of more than a hundred thousand other kinds of bones, from woolly mammoths and giant sloths to sabre-tooth cats and birds of all kinds.

Kirsti and Christian checking out the fossilized bones
 It really boggles the mind to think of all those kinds of animals roaming the hills of this area!  Of course, it was a long, long time ago.  Like, a couple of years before I moved here.

Could you get yourself unstuck from the tar?  This exhibit shows how hard it would be!
For those who are skeptical of how such large creatures could get stuck in the tar pits, there is a wonderful exhibit for you to see first hand how difficult it would be to get yourself unstuck.  It was hard to move the steel handle (see above) that was set in tar.  It took all my strength to make it budge.  I can't imagine the horror these ancient victims felt at getting accidentally stuck in that black ooze.  It would be a long, slow death from exposure and dehydration, or a quick one from an attack by any number of predators lurking nearby.
Jay and Anders in the dappled sunlight of the Atrium
The museum's atrium area has a fish pond with ducks and turtles.  All of us were charmed by the little turtles.  At first we didn't think they were real, but then they started moving. (I wish I would have thought to photograph them, but I was having too much fun photographing my family!)
Anders wandering through the exhibits
Given the dangerous nature of the tar pits, I was surprised that to date scientists have only uncovered the remains of one human being, believed to be a native Indian woman.
They really should rescue this guy!
The world is full of marvellous things.  There are two short films in the exhibit that help explain about the site and its history.  It's fun to know that they are still uncovering fossilized bones here and discovering important clues about the history of our planet in the process.

I really enjoyed this museum and learning more about the history of this area.  It's a part of Los Angeles we don't usually hear about.

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

I need to take my kiddos there