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From time to time, the asphalt would form a deposit thick enough to trap animals, and the surface would be covered with layers of water, dust, or leaves.
Animals would wander in, become trapped, and eventually die.
Predators would enter to eat the trapped animals and also become stuck.
As the bones of dead animals sink into the asphalt, it soaks into them, turning them a dark-brown or black color.
This innovative form of transportation allowed access up and down the coastline and to the Channel Islands.
Since la brea means the tar in Spanish, "The La Brea Tar Pits" is an example of a tautological place name; "the La Brea Tar Pits" literally means "the the tar tar pits." The La Brea Tar Pits and Hancock Park are situated within what was once the Mexican land grant of Rancho La Brea, now part of urban Los Angeles in the Miracle Mile district, adjacent to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Craft and Folk Art Museum.Examples of some of these are on display in the George C. Radiometric dating of preserved wood and bones has given an age of 38,000 years for the oldest known material from the La Brea seeps.The pits still ensnare organisms today, so most of the pits are fenced to protect humans and animals.The La Brea Tar Pits are a group of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed in urban Los Angeles.Natural asphalt (also called asphaltum, bitumen, pitch or tar—brea in Spanish) has seeped up from the ground in this area for tens of thousands of years.
We were not so lucky ourselves as to see these tar geysers, much though we wished it; as it was some distance out of the way we were to take, the Governor [Portolá] did not want us to go past them.