The La Brea Tar Pits, also known as the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, are located in urban Los Angeles, in an area called Hancock Park. The tar pits were formed through natural asphalt seeping up from the ground for tens of thousands of years. As a result, many now extinct animals were trapped in the tar and their bones and fossils were preserved until present time.
The George C. Page Museum was built on the grounds and is dedicated to researching the tar pits and displaying bones, specimens, and fossils from the animals that died there. Visiting the museum is like travelling in a time machine, thousands of years into the past, to prehistoric times. One can leisurely stroll through the museum and see hundreds of reconstructed prehistoric animals on display. You can even observe the museum workers cleaning, polishing, and connecting bones to reconstruct these animals.
At the La Brea Tar Pits, you can see over 1 million Ice Age fossils, from 650 species, such as a tusk from a Columbian Mammoth, the tooth of a prehistoric baby mouse, a large bison that roamed the planet over twenty-two thousand years ago, and an extinct species of Western horse.
At the La Brea Tar Pits, there are educational theatre shows, depicting the history of many species of animals and how they were trapped in the tar. There are also gift shops and stands where you can buy souvenirs, such as necklaces made out of extinct mammals’ tusks, or models of the tar pits.
The La Brea Tar Pits are located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 and are open 9:30 am to 5 pm every day of the year, except on Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November), Christmas Day (December 25), and New Year's Day (January 1).