Los Angeles becomes Ice Age dig site

About 10,000 years before the arrival of mammoth traffic jams in the second-largest U.S. city, the two beasts likely got stuck in the goo while hunting a camel, horse or ground sloth, said John Harris, chief curator and head of vertebrate studies at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, which oversees the site.

The area is a treasure trove of well-preserved bones, plant remnants and microorganisms. Excavation work began in 1915 and has been done every summer since 1969 to the delight of children and other visitors who watch from a glass-enclosed area overlooking the 14-foot (4-meter) deep pit.

The work lasts from July 1 to Sept. 10. During the rest of the year, visitors to the nearby Page Museum can watch scientists behind a glass window scrub fossils found during the excavation, the AP reports.

The site is a favorite among children who let their imaginations wander as they watch tar-covered excavators move along gangplanks.