AAA Editor Notes
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., is the site of sticky asphalt pools that trapped and preserved prehistoric plant and animal life; these tar pits are among the world's richest sources of ice-age fossils—more than 3 million have been recovered. Life-size replicas of extinct mammals sit in some of the still-bubbling tar pits. Pit 91, the country’s only urban fossil excavation site, is observed by a self-guiding walking trail.
The museum is part of the Natural History Family of Museums and exhibits fossils of ice-age animals such as mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats. Through the windows of the indoor lab, visitors can watch fossils being cleaned, identified and catalogued. The 15-minute Ice Age Encounters show includes a live performance, a film and a life-size saber-toothed cat puppet. Another museum highlight is the 3-D film “Titans of the Ice Age.” During the guided Excavator Tour guests visit the Fossil Lab and then head outside to the lake pit, observation pit and Project 23, an active excavation site.
Rental wheelchairs are available.
Guided tours are available.