Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day at the La Brea Tar Pits

I am back on Guam now and had my first day back in the office today, but I wanted to make one more post about our recently completed vacation. One of the most interesting excursions we took was to the La Brea Tar pits in downtown LA. I had never been there before, despite the many times I have been to LA. Joyce had never been there either so we decided to take Mike, Samantha and the kids and go. The pits and the museum were amazing. The volume and variety of the fossils that have been found there is almost unbelievable. I could have spent a few more hours, than the almost full day we spent, looking at everything there. Here are a few of our pictures of our day at the Tar Pits.

Titus and I pose with the statue of the bear.  During the time period in which these animals were trapped in the tar pits, the LA area had a very different set of animals which were much larger than the ones that live there today. They have found only one human skeleton in the tar pits.

I was a little surprised at how geologically active the area still is. (I hoped that the volcano would not erupt while we were there - at least not without Tommy Lee Jones there to re-direct the lava.) You can see the gas bubbling up through the water in the picture.

This pit is an active archaeological dig. Basically the tar is pretty much jammed with fossils.

Here I am posing with the mammoth display in the museum. It is hard to imagine Southern California with cool weather and creatures like that walking around.

Titus and Courage enjoyed the saber tooth cat (not tiger - they were not tigers) display. Note that they are both wearing their Christmas present T-shirts from Guam. 

We spent a lot of time in the museum. There was a lot to do there with movies, displays etc. There were a lot of "hands-on" activities for the kids too.

The park was also very pleasant with a lot of open area. Joyce and the kids had a good time climbing the trees. It was a little weird to think of active tar pits right in the middle of a beautiful park right in the middle of LA. 

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