Natural History Museum & Park in Los Angeles

La Brea Tar Pits

La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles showcases Ice Age fossils, including mammoths and saber-toothed cats, with live excavations and a museum.

Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits represent one of the world's most famous fossil localities. This active Ice Age excavation site is known for the astonishing quantity of preserved ancient fauna, including mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves. The adjacent Natural History Museum & Park complements the prehistoric journey with exhibits that delve into the area's geology and the ecosystem of the past. Visitors can watch paleontologists at work at the tar pits and explore the museum to gain insight into the processes of paleontology.

Ice Age Fossil Excavation and Observation

At the La Brea Tar Pits, you can immediately engage with science in action. One of the key attractions is observing the excavation sites where Ice Age fossils continue to be discovered. The most active excavation site, Pit 91, operates during the summer months and allows visitors to watch as paleontologists carefully uncover remnants of the past. Additionally, Project 23 is an ongoing effort to process a wealth of material discovered during a nearby construction project, offering another window into the meticulous work involved in paleontology.

George C. Page Museum Exhibits

Within the museum named after philanthropist George C. Page, you'll find a wide array of fossils that have been extracted from the tar pits. This includes skeletons of ancient creatures such as mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves. In these exhibits, you'll learn how these animals became entrapped in the tar and how their remains help us understand the environment of Ice Age Southern California. The museum also provides educational videos and interactive displays that explain the significance of these discoveries.

Hancock Park Features

Surrounding the museum and tar pits, Hancock Park offers a pleasant outdoor experience. Here, visitors can relax by the grassy areas or utilize the picnic tables for a break. Signs around the park explain various features of the tar pits and their importance. The park's design integrates with the natural history theme, featuring plant species that are related to those from the Ice Age, thus extending the educational experience beyond the museum walls.

Visitor Services and Accessibility

The La Brea Tar Pits and Museum are designed to be accessible for all visitors. Facilities include wheelchair-accessible paths and restrooms. There are also educational programs available, including guided tours and workshops that cater to various age groups, enhancing the learning experience through more personalized interaction.

For those looking to explore further, the Miracle Mile district encompasses other cultural attractions such as art museums and galleries. This proximity makes it convenient to extend one's experience in the area, taking in even more culture and history.

Nearby Attractions

Looking to explore beyond prehistoric times? The Miracle Mile district, where La Brea Tar Pits is located, is home to other noteworthy cultural institutions. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) sits just next door, boasting an impressive collection of artworks spanning different periods and regions. If contemporary art piques your interest, the Craft Contemporary exhibits craft and design pieces that will captivate your artistic senses. With these attractions close by, visitors have a chance to seamlessly transition from ancient history to modern and contemporary culture.

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