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Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum Student/Family Field Trip


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Rancho La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum Student/Family Field Trip
In order to receive credit for the student/family field trip each student must follow the instructions outlined here:


  • Personally visit the Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology.

  • Show proof of your visit by attaching a photograph of you in front of the museum and another photograph of you at one of the exhibits in the museum.

  • Complete this assignment sheet.

  • All must be complete and turned in no later than ______________________.


Begin your exploration in the upper level: The Hall of Life
When was the last great Ice Age?

What is asphalt? Why is it not called tar?

How does a “tar pit” form? What do these formations look like? (Answer this question and then draw and color a diagram of a tar pit formation)

How did animals become stuck in the asphalt? Did entrapment at Rancho La Brea happen often?

What were some of the different processes that affected the bones before and after they were buried in the asphalt?

What are microfossils? What information do they reveal about the last Ice Age?


What was the ecosystem of Rancho La Brea like? (ex: weather, animals, and plants)

Do any of the animals of Rancho La Brea have living relatives? What are the similarities and differences between the extinct species and their living relatives?

Why are some animals commonly found in the asphalt while others are so scarce?

How did Native Americans use the asphalt?

What does the Page Museum laboratory do with the fossils?



Are fossils still being found? Why or why not?


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