The museum at La Brea Tar Pits remains closed until further notice. The park at La Brea Tar Pits is currently open, and visitors can see paleontologists working at our excavation site weekly. See NHMLAC's response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dire Wolf Skull Wall Reinstall

3,600 individual dire wolves recovered, 400 skulls, one iconic La Brea Tar Pits installation refurbished

Dire wolf wall at an angle

With remains from more than 3,600 individuals discovered, dire wolves are the most found mammal at La Brea Tar Pits. Hunting in packs would have likely helped them take down large herbivores like bison or horses. This same behavior meant that when these pack hunters came across easy prey stuck in the asphalt, many of them fell victim to entrapment in the tar themselves. Reflecting their outsized presence in the Tar Pits, our Dire Wolf Wall displays the wealth of dire wolf remains found at La Brea Tar Pits, showcasing 400 skulls in one of the most iconic displays in the museum. 

Dire wolf skull horizontal
One of the 400 skulls comprising the Dire Wolf Skull Wall

Enjoy this time lapse video, a blast from the past (2012) documenting the four-day process where each of the 400 skulls was taken down, cleaned, photographed, and then re-installed so that new lights could be added to the wall.

dire wolf wall