Thursday, October 9, 2008

Free admission Tuesday at the La Brea Tar Pits...

One of the mission statements of my blog was to explore L.A., so with my folks in town I'm doing a great job this month - Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd Street Promenade, The Getty Centre, Runyon Canyon, Venice Beach, The Getty Villa, Hollywood & Highland, Sunset Blvd, and now the La Brea Tar Pits.
La Brea Lake Tar Pit Mammoths
Two days ago we headed to the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits and bonus, it was 'Free Tuesday', which means admission is free to the museum the first Tuesday of each month, so you only pay for parking in the lot on Curson Avenue (saving $7 per adult).
La Brea Lake Tar Pit Mammoths
For about 40,000 years crude oil has been seeping out of the ground at Rancho La Brea. Forming pools of soft and sticky semi-solid asphalt it became the perfect death trap for roaming animals and birds.
Mammoths trapped in the Lake Pit at La Brea Tar Pits
The qualities of asphalt preserved not only the bones of these animals, but also evidence of the local ecosystem.
Page Museum Sabretooth statues
Many of these fossilized remains are on show at the Page Museum for all to see. Across from the Museum you'll find the infamous Lake Pit, with the replicas of Mammoths stuck on the sticky, pungent tar. 
Page Museum statues
It was a wonderfully hot day and you could really smell the tar. 
La Brea Museum statues
Here's a selection of the fossils and complete skeletons of mammals and birds on display at the Page Museum, which it claims houses the Earth's richest and most important Ice Age fossil collection.

Page Museum display

Columbian Mammoth
Columbian Mammoth skeleton
La Brea Tar Pit Columbian Mammoth

Fossil Birds
Page Museum fossil bird

American Mastodon
American Mastodon display

Dire Wolf Skulls
Page Museum Dire Wolves

Ancient Bison
Ancient Bison fossil at La Brea Tar PitsAncient Bison skull

Coyote
Page Museum coyote fossil

Yesterday's Camel
Page Museum fossil skull

Sabertoothed Cat
La Brea Tar Pit Sabertooth

Harlan's Ground Sloth
Harlan's Ground Sloth at Page Museum

Western Horse & Shortfaced Bear
Western Horse & Shortfaced bear fossil

I'm not exactly sure if I've labelled all the fossils above correctly, but you get the general idea.  I think this one below is another Mastodon. 
Tar pit fossil skull

Now for a beast of another variety, here's Halloween Cooper...
Halloween Devil Cooper
Obviously every tour of L.A. wouldn't be complete without a trip to our favourite pet store in Culver City.  I couldn't resist this little outfit for our almost six month old pup.  
Halloween Puppy Cooper
However, even though the Halloween devil outfit was extra-large, it is still too small for Cooper, but he gave it a go (but didn't want to properly pose for the photo).  I think he'll need more of a caped costume for the end of the month.

In the evening it was off to Studio City for dinner with some friends at the Daily Grill on the corner of Laurel and Ventura.  The restaurant is filled with smart booths and dining tables, the food is good and comes in big portions and it was surprisingly smarter dress than I was expecting (it seemed to have a lot of the afterwork office crowd).

Next on my parents L.A. vacation will be a more sedate day with a visit to the Arclight Hollywood...

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