La Brea Tar Pits

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, formerly used by local Indians for waterproofing, and was explored 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 Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits contains more than one million prehistoric specimens exhumed from the pits.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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