La Brea Tar Pits

Fossil field in Hancock Park (formerly Rancho La Brea), Los Angeles, Calif.

, U.S. It is the site of "pitch springs" oozing crude oil, discovered by Gaspar de Portolá's expedition in 1769. The tar pits contain the fossilized bones of Pleistocene mammals that became entrapped there; they include mammoths, mastodons, and sabre-toothed cats. The George C. Page Museum contains more than one million prehistoric specimens exhumed from the pits.

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▪ tar pits, California, United States
      tar (coal tar) (Spanish brea) pits, in Hancock Park (Rancho La Brea), Los Angeles, California, U.S. The area was the site of “pitch springs” oozing crude oil that was used by local Indians for waterproofing. Gaspar de Portolá (Portolá, Gaspar de)'s expedition in 1769 explored the area, which encompasses about 20 acres (8 hectares). The tar pits are thick, sticky pools of viscous asphalt (the lowest grade of crude oil) that has oozed to the surface from a large petroleum reservoir. They have yielded the fossilized skulls and bones of trapped prehistoric animals as well as one partial human skeleton and many human artifacts. Until the 1870s, scientists studying the tar pits believed that the animals found trapped in the tar were of recent origin. Interest in the area became intense at the turn of the 20th century, however, when the remains of an extinct giant ground sloth were found. Excavations, which continue, have also uncovered the remains of other Pleistocene mammals such as the imperial mammoth, the mastodon, the short-faced bear, the sabre-toothed cat (California's official state fossil), and the camel; seeds, insects, and fish have also been unearthed. Park exhibits include life-size figures of many such long-extinct creatures and an observation pit. The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, an arm of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, contains more than one million prehistoric specimens exhumed from the pits.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • La Brea Tar Pits — (or Rancho La Brea Tar Pits) are a famous cluster of tar pits located in Hancock Park in the urban heart of Los Angeles, California, United States. Asphalt (colloquially termed tar, which in Spanish is termed brea , see below) has seeped up from… …   Wikipedia

  • La Brea Tar Pits — 34°03′46,47″N 118°21′22,67″O / <span class= geo dec geo title= Cartes, vues aériennes et autres données pour Erreur d’expression : caractère de ponctuation « , » non reconnu. Erreur d’expression : caractère de ponctuation… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La Brea Tar Pits — Eine offen gelassene große Asphaltgrube La Brea Tar Pits (Spanisch: La Brea „Teer“ / Englisch tar pits „Teergruben“), auch Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, ist eine Ansammlung von mit natürlichem Asphalt gefüllten Gruben unterschiedlicher Größe im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • La Brea Tar Pits — Zona de fósiles en el parque Hancock (anteriormente, Rancho La Brea) en Los Ángeles, Calif. en EE.UU. En este lugar hay pozos de alquitrán de donde mana petróleo crudo; fue descubierto en 1769 por la expedición de Gaspar de Portolá. Los pozos de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • McKittrick Tar Pits — 35°18′20″N 119°37′21″W / 35.30556°N 119.6225°W / 35.30556; 119.6225 …   Wikipedia

  • Tar — is a viscous black liquid derived from the destructive distillation of organic matter. Most tar is produced from coal as a byproduct of coke production, but it can also be produced from petroleum, peat or wood.Types of tarGeneralThe word tar is… …   Wikipedia

  • Brea — Bréa Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Bréa ou Brea peuvent faire référence à : Patronymes Jean Baptiste Fidèle Bréa, général français, né en 1790. Les Brea, une famille d artistes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tar pit — A tar pit, or more accurately known as an asphalt pit, is a geological occurrence where subterranean bitumen leaks to the surface, creating a large puddle, pit, or lake of asphalt. Known tar pits There are only a few known asphalt lakes worldwide …   Wikipedia

  • Bréa — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Bréa ou Brea peuvent faire référence à : Patronymes Jean Baptiste Fidèle Bréa, général français, né en 1790. Les Brea, une famille d artistes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La Brea — Tar Pits 34°03′46,47″N 118°21′22,67″O / <span class= geo dec geo title= Cartes, vues aériennes et autres données pour Erreur d’expression : caractère de ponctuation « , » non reconnu Erreur d’expression : caractère de… …   Wikipédia en Français

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