Andrew Ferguson's review of Michael Crichton's novel, "Jurassic Park" (Nov. 10), promulgates the common but totally false myth that there are dinosaur remains associated with the La Brea Tar Pits.
While most would say that this is a matter unworthy of comment, it is in fact a rather big deal, considering that the last dinosaur died more than 64 million years before the post-glacial mammals (mammoths, mastodons, sloths, horses, camels, bison, wolves, lions, saber-tooth tigers, etc.) and birds (condors, cranes, ducks, etc.) of Southern California became mired in the Tar Pits. The Jurassic dinosaurs (brontosaurus, diplodocus, stegosaurus, allosaurus, etc.) are over twice as old as that, from rocks at least 135 million years old.
It makes no more sense to link, even in jest or in passing, dinosaurs and the La Brea Tar Pits than it would to link Roman Legionnaires with Custer's Last Stand at Little Big Horn.
Finally, Rudolph Zallinger's dinosaur mural, "The Age of Reptiles," is an anachronism--featuring bloated, tail-dragging, swamp-bound, sluggish dinosaurs--that only serves to reinforce further misconceptions and dated ideas concerning these creatures.
DAVID A. LATHRAP