Feb 19th 2009 By Tom Radler
No question there are some weird creatures roaming around Los Angeles -- but when we think of fearsome predators in the city of angels, it's usually more along the lines of O.J. Simpson and Harvey Weinstein than ancient saber-toothed cats.
But paleontologists are touting a major discovery of fossils from the Ice Age near the La Brea Tar Pits
, which are located more or less in the center of the city. Among the bones found are those of a mammoth, an American lion, dire wolves, bison, ground sloths and other mammals. About 16 fossil deposits were found underneath a parking lot a few years ago -- a huge haul -- and scientists are in the process of classifying them all. "It's like a paleontological Christmas," wrote a researcher of the find.
The Tar Pits actually rank high on the list of places where preserved fossils like these have been found. Ice Age beasts seem to have frequently become stuck in the asphalt that came up out of the ground, which then kept their remains relatively well-preserved. Kind of like the Botox that keeps L.A.'s other residents so well-preserved today.