Dating cole in brea
La Brea Tar Pits are a registered National Natural Landmark.
Tar pits are composed of heavy oil fractions called gilsonite, which seeped from the Earth as oil.
Pulling fallen Northern California redwood trunks and pieces of driftwood from the Santa Barbara Channel, their ancestors learned to seal the cracks between the boards of the large wooden plank canoes by using the natural resource of tar.
Lighter fractions of petroleum evaporate from the asphalt, leaving a more solid substance, which encases the bones.
The Portolá expedition, a group of Spanish explorers led by Gaspar de Portolá, made the first written record of the tar pits in 1769.
Father Juan Crespí wrote, While crossing the basin, the scouts reported having seen some geysers of tar issuing from the ground like springs; it boils up molten, and the water runs to one side and the tar to the other.
The original Rancho La Brea land grant stipulated that the tar pits be open to the public for the use of the local Pueblo. Orcutt is credited, in 1901, with first recognizing that fossilized prehistoric animal bones were preserved in pools of asphalt on the Hancock Ranch.
Initially, they mistook the bones in the pits for the remains of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) or cattle that had become mired. In commemoration of Orcutt's initial discovery, paleontologists named the La Brea coyote (Canis latrans orcutti) in his honor.