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La Brea Tar Pits Selected as One of the First 100 Geological Heritage Sites!

With fossils excavated, prepared, researched, and put on display at La Brea Tar Pits, this tar pit is the only active and urban Ice Age excavation site in the world. Because of its dynamic science, the site is a unique window into the future. Visitors may witness the excavation of Ice Age plants and animals that were trapped and preserved in the seeps outside the Museum.


La Brea Tar Pits Selected as One of the First 100 Geological Heritage Sites!

Inside, scientists and volunteers clean, repair, and identify those very fossils. Some of the finest specimens are displayed and available for research, including saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, dire wolves, mammoths, and mastodons, as well as microfossils of small animals and plants. Los Angeles environmental change over the last 50,000 years of Earth's history has been examined using these collections, as has the planet.


In October 2022, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) will be holding its 60th-anniversary conference in Zumaia, Basque Coast, Spain, at the UNESCO Global Geopark, to announce the First 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites. La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park has been selected as one of the 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites by one of the world's largest scientific organizations, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).



More than one million geoscientists from 121 member countries participate in the IUGS. As part of its new designation in 2022, the IUGS will declare 100 IUGS Geological Heritage Sites. They are key locations with geological components and processes of international scientific importance and those that have played a substantial role in geological science. The Pleistocene (the "Ice Age") fossil site at La Brea Tar Pits has been acknowledged as the most significant paleontological site in the world. La Brea Tar Pits has also helped scientists and the general public better understand the Pleistocene time period.


According to Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, President and Director of the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, La Brea Tar Pits, a one-of-a-kind site for scientific research into the past that has inspired pop culture from the current La Brea TV series to the Ice Age animated movies, is a source for understanding climate change in our own time.



La Brea's contribution to science and the efforts of paleontologists, preparators, and volunteers during its more than 100 years of research and excavation have been duly recognized by the international scientific community, according to Bettison-Varga.

LaBrea Tar Pits is an entry to the Ice Age, where paleontologists dig for plant and animal fossils trapped in asphalt seeps over thousands of years as a living laboratory for the local and global community to discover groundbreaking research.


In addition to being the world's only ongoing urban Ice Age excavation, LaBrea Tar Pits is a living laboratory. As a result, one can learn about science as it happens here. Outside, visitors can see fossils being unearthed from asphalt seeps as they are uncovered. Inside the Museum, scientists and volunteers cleanup, repair, identify and study those very fossils.


La Brea Tar Pits Selected as One of the First 100 Geological Heritage Sites!

The finest specimens are on display, and all of them are available for study. Ancient saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, dire wolves, mammoths, and mastodons are just some of the animals that were discovered and studied. These collections and their locale provide a unique resource for understanding environmental change in Los Angeles and the world during the last 50,000 years of Earth history, and over 400 scientific publications have been written about them.


La Brea Tar Pits have been formed through a series of uplifts and faults over the last 50,000 years, as crude petroleum seeped up to the surface of shallow pools that entrapped and preserved millions of fossils representing hundreds of plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate species.


It has been the subject of extensive geologic, paleontological, and archaeological research for over 150 years. A master planning process that includes public engagement, master planning, design, and future construction will be carried out at the Tar Pits campus, which includes the asphalt seeps, the La Brea Tar Pits park, and the George C. Page Museum building. According to La Brea Tar Pits CEO Howard Phipps, the reimagining of the site aims to demystify the science and educate visitors about the impacts of climate change, both in the past and present.



NHMLAC guarantees that La Brea Tar Pits will remain inclusive and accessible to all, whether it be a child wandering past the still bubbling asphalt or a neighbor running past."


La Brea Tar Pits' research today ranges from studying the biology and behavior of extinct creatures to documenting the fossils themselves to establishing whether ecosystems have been altered as a result of climate change over the past 50,000 years. This last line of inquiry has significance, as it can provide critical benchmarks for understanding how plants and animals will be affected as a result of human-induced climate change.



The La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which the city of Los Angeles, California, USA, formed. La Brea Tar Pits' asphalt seeps are the world's only continually operating and urban Ice Age excavation site. The site is a unique portal into active science, where fossils are discovered, prepared, researched, and displayed. Visitors may observe excavators unearthing Ice Age plants and animals that were trapped and preserved during the seeps outside the Museum. Inside, scientists and volunteers clean, repair, and identify those fossils.


The most exceptional specimens are on display and accessible for study: saber-toothed cats, giant sloths, dire wolves, mammoths, and mastodons, to name a few. These collections represent an unparalleled resource for learning about environmental change in Los Angeles and the world over the past 50,000 years of Earth's history.



La Brea Tar Pits Selected as One of the First 100 Geological Heritage Sites!

 


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