THIS ONE'S THE PITS! The La Brea Tar Pits
Location: Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Map Author: Lorenzo
The La Brea Tar Pits and Hancock Park are situated in the Miracle Mile district, a piece of urban Los Angeles.
The George C. Page Museum was built next to the tar pits in Hancock Park on Wilshire Boulevard. It tells the story of the tar pits and presents specimens from them. Visitors can walk around the park and see the tar pits. On the grounds of the park are life-size models of prehistoric animals in or near the tar pits. Of more than a hundred pits, only Pit 91 is still regularly excavated by researchers, and can be seen at the Pit 91 viewing station, which is outside the museum, and free to enter. La Brea is a famous and accessible paleontological site because it is in a large city, with dramatic exhibits well presented at the Page Museum.
The tar pits visible today are actually from human excavation. The lake pit was originally an asphalt mine. The other pits visible today were produced during the 1913-1915 excavations, when over 100 pits were excavated in search of large mammal bones. Various combinations of asphaltum and water have since filled in these holes. Normally, the asphalt appears in vents, hardening as it oozes out, to form stubby mounds. These can be seen in several areas of the park as well.
The pits can still ensnare, and so, most of the pits are fenced off to keep humans and animals from getting caught and killed.