Less Flashy Fossils Offer Paleoclimate Clues
Early excavators at La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles focused on the flashy fossils: saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, mammoths, and mastodons. But they totally ignored the less charismatic remains of plants and insects, says John Harris, chief curator at the Page Museum at the tar pits. Today, he says, those microfossils offer scientists a glimpse of the climate of Los Angeles 27,000 years ago—when the area was cool and humid, more akin to Washington D.C. today.
John Harris is chief curator of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California.