Los Angeles celebrates 100 years of La Brea tar pits


The 100th anniversary of the first dig at La Brea tar pits was celebrated last month in Los Angeles, and scientists happily announced that the discoveries are far from over, with Ice Age remnants still being found today. The bones and fossils that have come out of La Brea tar pits have become the highlight of many holidays in America, with earlier excavations uncovering mammoths, sabre-toothed cats, bears, giant bison and more.

 

Finds in the tar pits have uncovered an incredible array of flora and fauna, including over 600 species of animals and plants. Whilst the main attractions to come from the pits have certainly excited Los Angeles' visitors, who are sure to be amazed that mammoths and sabre-toothed cats roamed the land where Los Angeles now sits, John Harris, chief curator at the George C. Page Museum, told reporters that the microfossils that have been discovered in recent years are much more helpful to scientists.

 

Not only are the La Brea tar pits continuing to produce microfossils, but scientists have predicted that digging at the site will not be complete for a further 100 years. Whilst the largest fossils and bones are believed to have been found, a number of undiscovered Ice Age microfossils could hold some vital clues to the history of Earth. Harris went on to tell the Los Angeles Times that their project has moved from simply presenting the colossal creatures of the Ice Age to "attempting to preserve a whole prehistoric ecosystem", with some providing clues to how the Pleistocene Epoch ended.

 

The Page Museum will be undergoing some changes in the near future, according to Harris, who is very excited about updating the exhibitions that are very similar to how they were in 1977. Current plans are to "have the 'wow' of gigantic skeletons, as well the little things that lived beneath them".

 

Image Credit: betsyweber (flickr.com)