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Museum Exhibitions

Millions of fossils found at La Brea Tar Pits—all under one roof.

mammoth exhibit tar pits mammoths and mastodons

General Info

9:30 am–5 pm
Wednesday–Monday
Closed Tuesdays

Inside the Museum at La Brea Tar Pits 

What lies beneath the surface at the world famous La Brea Tar Pits? Step inside the museum to see massive ground sloths, towering mammoths, and snarling saber-toothed cats—some of the most spectacular fossils ever found at the Tar Pits. Watch scientists prepare specimens in the Fossil Lab, and then see these incredible fossils on display in the surrounding galleries.

A portal to the Ice Age
Discoveries from the Tar Pits Masked
Dire Wolf Wall Masked
pleistocene garden
Masked Couple with Saber-toothed cat model
Masked Family With Mammoth
Ancient Horse Skeletons

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While You're Visiting:

  • Discover the large animals like mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, giant sloths, and more that roamed Ice Age L.A.

  • See what scientists are working on in the Fossil Lab, from sorting microfossils to cleaning mammoth tusks

  • Feel what it was like to get stuck in the sticky asphalt that trapped so many Ice Age animals

  • Make MAMMOTH discoveries throughout our museums

  • Talk with real scientists, our Gallery Interpreters, and volunteers about recent finds and stories that make the past come to life

What digging up the past tells us

For over a century, researchers at La Brea Tar Pits have unearthed and studied the remains of millions of plants and animals. The resulting collection of fossils, from the gigantic mammoths to small micro fossils of insects and tiny plants, is the world’s most complete record of what life was like at the end of the Ice Age - between about 50,000 and 10,000 years ago - a time both foreign and familiar to our own.

Experience for yourself how life from the past became trapped in “tar,” how scientists are digging it up today and working on these fossils right before your eyes, and what their discoveries tell us about the past and climate change.