New tar pit exhibits, fossils made public

| June 29, 2017 | 0 Comments

ABOVE-GROUND excavation continues at a newly opened site. Photo courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum is releasing new exhibits to the public this month. A plot of the Museum’s above-ground fossil excavation, titled Project 23, is opening for excavation, and includes the site’s most recent finds. This section of land is identified as Box 13 and will allow visitors to observe the excavation process from outside the building, which involves the examination of ancient flora and fauna. Visitors can enter the museum to inspect the cleaning and sorting of the newly discovered relics, and to view the 3-D scanning and printing of material, a procedure that creates nearly identical duplicates of the fossils. This process replicates the most minute details such as the exact shape and size of each specimen.

The Observation Pit, previously accessible only on the Excavator Tour, is now open to all. This exhibition presents the bones of a wide array of Ice Age animals, ranging from sloths to saber-toothed cats. Museum guides will assist visitors in identifying the clustered remains of the exhibit.

The digging of Pit 91 continues this summer, and viewers can experience the excavation of five more feet deep of fossils. What remains to be discovered in the site is a mystery, as the pit can yield fossils of animals such as western horses and dire wolves.

The expansion of Metro’s subway lines throughout the city has led to the discovery of new skeletons. In particular, the bones of a baby mammoth unearthed under Wilshire Blvd. will be prepared for study at the museum, and later be on public view. Learn more at:

By Jonathan Lee, who will be a senior this fall at Pilgrim School, where he will serve as the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.


Category: Entertainment

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