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Science

Celebrating a Century of Fossil Finds In the La Brea Tar Pits 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the sticky-situation dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A century ago on Monday, the predecessor to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County began a two-year project to uncover the Ice Age creatures that became trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits. 'Digs over the years have unearthed bones of mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and other unsuspecting Ice Age creatures that became trapped in ponds of sticky asphalt. But it's the smaller discoveries — plants, insects and rodents — in recent years that are shaping scientists' views of life in the region 11,000 to 50,000 years ago.'"
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Celebrating a Century of Fossil Finds In the La Brea Tar Pits

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  • But But... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nickserv (1974794) on Monday October 28, 2013 @05:06AM (#45256793)

    I thought the world was only 6,000 years old?

    Richard Dawkins on Real Time this weekend said, "People who believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago, when it's actually 4.5 billion years old, should also believe the width of N America is 8 yards. That is the scale of the error."

  • Back to the fossils (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 28, 2013 @06:41AM (#45257045)

    If you have never visited The La Brea Tar Pits (which translates to The Tar-Tar pits?) and have a chance, go there! Plan to visit the museum. In the museum is a whole wall of dire wolf skulls, back lit with a yellow light. Creepy.
    My favorite is "old smiley," the California Sabre Tooth Tiger, Smilodonius Californius. A Scientific American Magazine devoted to dinosaurs about 15 years ago had this to say about dinosaurs, which also applies to this mammal , (paraphrase), 'Thank God we have all these fossils to tell us about these extinct creatures, but mostly thank god they're all dead!'

    By the way, throwing a body into the tar pits doesn't work. It takes days to sink in, and I think they even have put fencing under the surface of the tar near the edge of the pits to catch things like this. (It took me almost two hours at 3AM to get a body back out, just in time before the sun came up!)

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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