Children's Literature - Uma KrishnaswamiTo learn about the tar pits of Rancho La Brea, where millions of bones of Ice Age animals have been found, you have to go back. Way back, in fact, to "the Miocene epoch (when) conditions were just right for the formation of a liquid called petroleum." When asphalt began to seep out of the ground, animals, first large herbivores, then their predators, were entrapped in the sticky puddles as animals continue to be entrapped to this day. Thompson's informative book takes the reader way back, and provides insights into what geologists, paleontologists and historians have gleaned of the past, both remote and more recent, of this fascinating place.
School Library JournalGr 4-6-In a flowing narrative, Thompson describes how the La Brea Tar Pits were formed, how animals became entrapped in them, how they have been excavated in modern times, and what has been learned about the prehistoric world from studying their fossils. Excellent-quality, full-color and archival photographs augment the text. Several highlighted facts and definitions break up the text. There is no bibliography or list for further reading. Nonetheless, this in-depth presentation will be a welcome addition to the paleontology section.-Beth Irish, Orange Public Library, CA
Denia HesterUsing clear, concise writing and good color photographs, Thompson unfolds the story of how the famous tar pits in downtown Los Angeles came to be. These tar pits, 40,000 years in the making, trapped thousands of prehistoric animals, including mammoths and saber-toothed cats. There's also the mysterious La Brea Woman, the only human skeleton ever found in the tar. Excellent artist's re-creations of the prehistoric bring extra life to a fascinating story. Glossary; no documentation.
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