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Summer of Sloths Self-Guided Tour

Sloth head with a pink, purple, orange, and yellow background

Summer of Sloths
Self-Guided Tour

Take it slow—like a sloth—while you dig into the chillest sites for these Ice Age giants at La Brea Tar Pits and be sure to share the sloth love with #SUMMEROFSLOTHS

In the Museum

Once you enter the museum, take a left turn. Stop by these items below to learn all about the giant sloths that once roamed Ice Age L.A.  As you go along the tour, see if you can spot more fun sloth finds!

Harlan’s Ground Sloth: 

Stand in front of this six-foot-tall mounted skeleton assembled from real giant sloth bones found right here at our site! The fossils of Harlan’s ground sloths were popular finds and are still being dug up from the Tar Pits today.

Giant Ground Sloth

Touch a Real Sloth Fossil: 

Inside the museum find a femur from a Harlan’s ground sloth that you can touch.

adventures in nature kids in front of giant ground sloth exhibit la brea tar pits

Shasta Ground Sloth: 

Get face-to-face with this smaller, more lanky sloth as you peer into its case – Shasta sloth fossils are typically found in now-desert regions of the American southwest, and may have been present in Los Angeles during drier periods of the late Ice Age.

Shasta Ground Sloth skeleton mounted in clear display case

Fossil Lab: 

Watch as our scientists and volunteers work on fossils found right here at the Tar Pits, including those from Ice Age sloths. Read the ever-changing whiteboards to see what they are working on each day

Scientists in white lab coats in a lab behind class

Ice Age Battle: 

Giant sloths, even with their massive size, were still vulnerable to Ice Age predators like saber-toothed cats. Can you find our animatronic recreation of a saber-toothed cat attacking a giant sloth?

Replica saber-toothed cat  and sloth animatronic

In the Park

Sloth Statues: 

Right next to Project 23 get a picture with life-sized sculptures of Harlan’s ground sloths.

Sloth Statues in Hancock Park

Project 23: 

Visit our active excavation site and take a closer look at Box 2 and Box 13, where excavators have been discovering sloth fossils as well as other animals and plants of the Ice Age.

Project 23
Project 23 Box 13

1 of 1

Pits 3, 4, 61/67:

Stop by the sign for a chance to bring a digital Shasta ground sloth back to Hancock Park. Weighing in at around half a ton, these were one of the smaller ground sloth species.

Signage on a fence with text and Shasta ground sloth illustrations

Pit 13:

From 1913 to 1915, this was an active excavation site that contained a large amount of Harlan’s ground sloth fossils. About 18,000 years ago, many of these six-foot-tall, 2,000-pound sloths were trapped, stuck in the sticky goo you see still seeping to the surface in front of you. You’ll also find a QR code to bring a digital Harlan’s ground sloth back to La Brea Tar Pits. 

Visitors facing a fence and a Pit 13 sign