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Tuesday, January 06, 2004  

A Stinky Black Oasis
Jules and I finally got to visit the La Brea Tar Pits this afternoon. The Tar Pits are an archeological gold mine where the fossilized remains of literally thousands of animals have been uncovered since the initial discovery in 1906. Everything from saber-toothed cats to mammoths and dire wolves have been recovered and there are several complete skeletons on display. It is really fascinating to me to be able to look in the empty eye-sockets of the long dead beasties and imagine what they would have looked like 30,000 years ago. But the most incredible thing is the quantity of specimens that have been taken out of the pits in the last hundred years; in 2000 over 1600 fossils were recovered from just once site, and there are literally boxes full of bones marked "canis dirus ribs" are just laying about in the fishbowl lab (a working lab for where the visitors to the museum can watch the scientists cleaning and cataloging finds.) The museum is really cool, but you can see the whole thing in under an hour so I highly suggest visiting on the first Tuesday of the month when admission is free.

posted by JMV | 1/06/2004 11:32:00 PM
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