Presentation on theme: "Page Museum Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA East of LACMA The La Brea Tar Pits Mr. Harper’s science mini lesson with audio Click on these icons for sound."— Presentation transcript:
Page Museum Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA East of LACMA The La Brea Tar Pits Mr. Harper’s science mini lesson with audio Click on these icons for sound
// We have learned how energy from the sun can become chemical energy in plants. Animals that eat plants store some of that energy in their bodies as they grow.
// There were times millions of years ago when plants and animals grew so numerous that when they died their bodies piled up and were buried by the remains of more plants and animals. The energy in them was trapped underground and over millions of years these remains were pressed together to make a black rock called coal.
Sea animals that died fell to the bottom and piled up for millions of years on the ocean floor. All the chemical energy in those animals became deposits of petroleum deep under the mud. Crude oil (petroleum)
// The solar energy that made the plants grow, and fed the animals was converted into carbon-rich fuel products and stored under tons of rock and mud.
// Coal is a black, sedimentary rock. Coal is the only rock that is organic (made from organisms). The stored energy in coal produces a lot of heat energy when it burns.
// Petroleum is found as natural gas, a black liquid called crude oil, or a thick sticky goo called asphalt.
// Natural gas is a clean burning fuel that is often used for cooking and heating homes.
// Crude oil can be refined to make gasoline for cars, diesel fuel for trucks and trains, and jet fuel for airplanes. It is also used to make plastics.
// Today we use the energy in fossil fuel for cars, trains, airplanes, and electric generation plants that make the electricity we use for almost everything we do.
Usually fossil fuels are found deep underground. We have to dig or drill deep down to get to them. Petroleum underground Oil
// But there are a few places where petroleum pushes up to the surface through cracks in the Earth. One of those places is right here in Los Angeles. It’s called The La Brea Tar Pits.
// These pools of petroleum asphalt are gooey and really sticky. They look like pools of water but an animal that walks into one can get stuck like a fly on flypaper.
// Over the past 40,000 years, many thousands of animals became trapped in the asphalt at Rancho La Brea.
// Predators who heard the cries of trapped animals came to get an easy meal, but many of them got trapped too.
The bones of all these animals have been preserved and protected from air, water and weather for thousands of years by the asphalt. About 100 years ago people discovered the fossils.
// When fossil scientists (paleontologists) found out about the bones in the asphalt, they came from all over the world to excavate the pits and study the fossil remains.
// The preserved bones of more than a million animals have been excavated from the asphalt. Rancho La Brea is world famous for the fossils that have been uncovered there.
// Today, Rancho La Brea is still one of the most interesting places on Earth for paleontologists. They are still finding fossil remains of animals that lived long ago.
// Part of the tar pit area was set aside as the City of Los Angeles grew up around it. Hancock Park and the Page Museum were built to give people a place to learn more about the interesting things that have been found here. Every year the fourth graders at our school get to go on a field trip to the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum.
In the big pool at the La Brea Tar Pits there is a statue of a mastodon that shows how animals became trapped in the sticky asphalt.
// We may get to see some paleontologists working in the lab when we visit the museum.
// Some of the best fossil specimens they have found are on display in the museum for us to see.
// The fossils tell us which animals lived in southern California thousands of years ago, such as camels. Today camels only live in Africa and Asia.
// The remains of bison, also called buffalo, were found in the asphalt. Some bison still live in the American west today.
// The bones of many strange birds found in the asphalt are on display at the Page Museum.
// The short-faced bear is extinct. Extinct means there are none left alive. The short-faced bear is the largest meat eater found at La Brea and grew bigger and could run faster than any bear species on Earth today.
// The remains of large felines (cats) were excavated from Rancho La Brea. The American lion does not live in North America today, but was a very close relative of the lions that live in Africa.
// Smilodon, also called the saber toothed cat, was a dangerous predator that is now extinct. But they once walked the land where our school is today just like all the animals found in the asphalt at Rancho La Brea.
// The dire wolf is an extinct canine (dog). Hundreds of dire wolf skulls are on display at the Page Museum.
// Mastodons were great elephant-like creatures that once roamed our area, but are extinct today. Many of their remains have been found by paleontologists in the asphalt.
Some scientists believe that they may have been hunted to extinction by a new predator that first appeared in this area at about that time. Wooly mammoths were even bigger than mastodons. But both of these giants disappeared about 12,000 years ago.
// The new predator didn’t have powerful claws or sharp teeth. It’s weapon was a brain that allowed it to make sharp tools and hunt in teams that worked together to kill bigger animals.
// These first humans in North America are called Clovis People, because they made spears and arrows with clovis points. It is believed they walked here from Asia across the frozen Bering Strait during the last great Ice Age.
// Other scientists think the reason for many of the extinctions was an Ice Age that ended about 10,000 years ago. The species that became extinct could not adapt to the climate change.
// About 200 years ago, the first Spanish settlers discovered the asphalt pits where The Page Museum is today. They thought the gooey substance looked like tar. They named the place Rancho La Brea which means Ranch of the Tar. But the tar pits aren’t tar at all. The black goo is petroleum asphalt like we use to make streets and school playgrounds.
// Tar is made from coal or wood and is used to make roofs that won’t leak when it rains.
// But asphalt is a form of petroleum. It is mixed with gravel, then pressed down to make streets and school playgrounds.
// You can learn more about asphalt and the La Brea Tar Pits by watching these Brainpop cartoons: Fossils Extinction Fossil Fuels