Scientists resume digging at LA's La Brea Tar Pits

June 19, 2014 by Matt Hamilton

The public will once again get an up-close view of scientists uncovering the bones of saber-toothed cats, mastodons and mammoths in the heart of Los Angeles.

Officials at the La Brea Tar Pits are reopening a shuttered exhibition hall and reactivating an excavation site, allowing visitors to look on as workers recover prehistoric fossils from naturally occurring asphalt in what is called Pit 91.

Digging was halted there in 2007 so scientists could focus on another project.

The chasm has already yielded more than a million fossils that have shed light on prehistoric Los Angeles and how local plants and animals responded to climate change.

In late June, the museum will resume tours of the Observation Pit, where the bones of horses, sloths and camels are trapped in natural asphalt.

Explore further: Scientists dig for Ice Age fossils in Los Angeles

Related Stories

Scientists dig for Ice Age fossils in Los Angeles

March 9, 2011

(AP) -- With a dental pick in hand, Karin Rice delicately scraped off a clump of asphalt from a pelvic bone belonging to a horse that roamed Los Angeles tens of thousands of years ago.

Los Angeles subway dig finds prehistoric objects

March 16, 2014

An exploratory subway shaft dug just down the street from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has uncovered a treasure trove of fossils in the land where saber-tooth cats and other early animals once roamed, the Los Angeles ...

Recommended for you

Biologists trace how human innovation impacts tool evolution

November 24, 2015

Many animals exhibit learned behaviors, but humans are unique in their capacity to build on existing knowledge to make new innovations. Understanding the patterns of how new generations of tools emerged in prehistoric societies, ...

How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles

November 19, 2015

(—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property ...

First Londoners were multi-ethnic mix: museum

November 23, 2015

A DNA analysis of four ancient Roman skeletons found in London shows the first inhabitants of the city were a multi-ethnic mix similar to contemporary Londoners, the Museum of London said on Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.