La Brea Tar Pits: A Natural History Heritage

Posted: Oct 29 2013, 6:58am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 29 2013, 1:47pm CDT, in Other Stuff


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La Brea Tar Pits: A Natural History Heritage
Image Credit: La Brea Tar Pits

California is home to the La Brea Tar Pits. It is a virtual natural history heritage that has many remains of prehistoric flora and fauna preserved in its depths.

It is in the news everywhere. The Page Museum will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the La Brea Tar Pits. They happen to be a national and state heritage. Among the rare species unearthed from their stinky black ooze may be included: the Saber-toothed Tiger, a mammoth (nicknamed Zed), gophers, dire wolves and giant sloths.

There are various insects such as beetles whose fossils have been found in the context of the tar pits. The smell exuded by the tar pits resembles a freshly formed tarmac in the sunlight. It is truly a source of amazement and wonder to gaze at the very special species exhumed from the subterranean regions of this mushy miasma.

But the fact of the matter is that the tar pits are way older than the odd century they are supposed to have been famous for. People including colonizers and Indians had been accustomed to these semi-solid pools of gunk since times immemorial.

Many individuals used the gooey material from the site as a sealant of sorts. Bones of extinct species had already been found time after time from the tar pits. They are a natural history treasure that never stops to amaze and amuse those among us who value the prehistoric past. Paleontologists have termed them a gold mine for the discovery of fossils.

Source: LATimes

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