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USGS CMG InfoBank: Rancho La Brea Tar Pits

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Comment: 17:31 - 18:36 (01:05)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 11. Evolution Through Time
Keywords: "George Jefferson", Cenozoic, "Rancho La Brea", "Los Angeles", tar, animal, fossil, life, Cenozoic, "Ice Age", climate, vertebrate

Our transcription: An extraordinary record of life in the Cenozoic has been found in a rather unexpected place, buried beneath the streets of one of the world's largest cities.
At Rancho La Brea, in Los Angeles, natural tar pools have trapped thousands of animals.
The tar has preserved an especially complete record of prehistoric life from the late Cenozoic Era.
The last few million years of Earth history; in fact, the last 2 million years, has generally been considered the Ice Ages.
It is that setting that governs what we see here at Rancho La Brea.
We are in the last half of the last glacial period -- just before modern climates come about.
The oldest remains here at Rancho La Brea of vertebrates, terrestrial vertebrates, are about 36-38 thousand years old.
The fossil record here extends from that period up to about 10,000 years ago.

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