Animals, such as mammoths and saber tooth cats that got stuck were easy prey for predators, which in turn became entrapped as well.
These bones were buried by the asphalt, which also preserved an entire ecosystem from the smallest plant fragments to the largest mammals. Crude oil has been seeping out of the ground for the past 40,000 years.
Be sure to visit the working paleontology laboratory, referred to as the “Fish Bowl’ because you can watch scientists and volunteers clean, examine, restore and catalog fossils after they have been excavated from the asphalt.
More than 30 complete skeletons of fossil mammals and birds are on display in the museum. Exhibits include a “tar pull” where you can tug on a handle to feel the thickness of the asphalt that entrapped so many animals.
5801 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Children (ages 5-12): $5
Children age 4 and younger: Free
Admission is free on the first Tuesday of each month.
Tip: If you plan to visit the Page Museum and the Natural History Museum (not on Museum Row) within two weeks of each other, you can buy a combo ticket and save 15 percent.
Closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day