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Tar Pit Excavation on Public View

July 27, 1993|NONA YATES

The annual summer excavation of La Brea Tar Pit 91 is under way. Visitors to Pit 91 can observe the excavation from a viewing station located above the pit through Aug. 29. This is the only excavation of its kind on public view in a major U.S. city. In 1992, excavators, many of whom are volunteers, uncovered a record 1,117 specimens.

No dinosaurs, a la "Jurassic Park," are found in the pit. They disappeared 65 million years before the La Brea fossil record began. The remains of mammals such as saber-toothed cats and giant ground sloths have been recovered there, giving a clue to what life was like 38,000 to 10,000 years ago in the Los Angeles area.

The viewing station will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fossils recovered from the tar pits are displayed at the George C. Page Museum nearby. Call (213) 936-2230.


* Some of the most profound astronomical discoveries of the 20th Century occurred at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains. The famed observatory will be the subject of a lecture by Bob Elklund, director of communication for the Mt. Wilson Institute, at the Santa Monica College astronomy program on Friday at 8 p.m. in Room 105 of the Business Building. The lecture will follow the weekly Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. Call (310) 452-9396.

* The telescopes of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will be trained on the stars and planets every Tuesday night in July and August for visitors to observe the celestial objects, weather permitting. The 29-inch Shipman telescope and other large telescopes will be set on Jupiter and Saturn, two of the brightest planets this time of year. Call (805) 682-3224.


* Kidspace Museum staff members will entertain and enlighten children ages 4 and older with stories and myths about the stars in workshops at the museum today at 2 and 3 p.m. Call (818) 449-9144.

* Children ages 4 to 7 will learn about the lives and habitats of the "furry critters" of the Santa Monica Mountains, including coyotes, rabbits and bobcats, in a Wilderness Institute workshop to be held in the mountains Saturday at 10 a.m. Call (818) 991-7327.


The lives of the insects and spiders of Franklin Canyon, and the plants they live on, will be the focus of a three-hour walk sponsored by the William O. Douglas Outdoor Classroom on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Call (310) 858-3834.

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