Monday, August 11, 2008

Review: Page Museum

The Page Museum, also known as the La Brea Tarpits, is located in north-west of LA city proper. This is a medium-sized museum that is dedicated entirely to ice age animals, particularly those found in the California area. You won't find any dinosaurs here, but you will find some amazing creatures, such as dire wolves, mammoths, mastodons, condors, and big cats (to name a few).

Dire Wolf


Giant Sloth

The cool thing about this museum, apart from the focus on ice age animals from the area, is that most of the creatures featured were found on the grounds of the museum. The page is the site of several very active tar pits (which makes walking on the grass a somewhat risky proposition). There is a lot of research going on, and the page makes use of that. They have a 'fishbowl' laboratory where you can watch paleontologists cataloging and restoring fossils, as well as sorting through the matrix (dirt or tar surrounding the primary fossil) for microfossils (bugs, small bits of bone, plant material etc.). During the summer, you might catch a glimpse of some researchers digging up fossils from pit 91. Right now at pit 91, they've stopped digging to work on the fossils they found in the basement of the near by art museum. So you can see the work in action.

Tar pit with fossils

In addition to the fossil displays, there are displays on the research being done, and two short films (one on the history of the museum and the other on the tar pits). There are curiosity carts for a more hands-on experience and two different tours (one for the inside of the museum and the other for the outside).

This is a great museum, a very rare opportunity to see ice age creatures from the very area they used to live. It's a great value too. $7.00 for adults, less for kids and students of all ages. I believe they also do discounted or free admission for members of other museums that are part of the ASTC system.

1 comment:

Eric Heupel said...

Man $7.00 that is a BARGAIN!

Heck it cost's that much just to walk into the Art Museum on our campus that consists of all of three rooms.