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Bobby Rico

Some help please to finding a tar pit beetle

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Bobby Rico

@Nimravis hi Ralph they are beautiful indeed . I love the bird material too. Thank for showing me.  :envy:

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Tidgy's Dad
3 hours ago, Nimravis said:

@Bobby Rico here are a couple pieces that I have in my collection.

 

 

 

Very nice, Ralph.:)

Love the beetles and the bird pieces are fascinating.

I would love to visit La Brea some time. 

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Nimravis
48 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Very nice, Ralph.:)

Love the beetles and the bird pieces are fascinating.

I would love to visit La Brea some time. 

I was out in LA about 10 years ago for an extended period of time for work and I passed it numerous times, but never stopped in. At that time fossils were taking a back seat to my climbing, so I would go to Joshua Tree and climb.

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Bobby Rico

@caldigger @Nimravis @Tidgy's Dad

I think you may have seen some of these postcards before but I thought they so interesting.  Mrs R gifted them to me as a    complement to Doren very generous offering of a Tar pit beetle.  I we visit La Brea Tar pits in the next couple of years I hope. 

C1DA07C3-1445-4662-A6E5-C11EBEFB4143.jpeg

534772EC-EAB1-4597-A7B4-8FD2AB64BD86.jpeg

FDDAD6FF-5648-451D-B1AA-2C9F8C8F66AD.jpeg

 

2C1E5699-8811-42D2-93D0-06B2F0E178D5.jpeg

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caldigger

Those pictures are amazing considering that place is right in the middle of a bustling city now.

You got a top notch wife there Bobby!

But then again, something tells me you already knew that. ;)

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Northern Sharks

Not doubting authenticity here, but just curious. I saw a number of these beetles for the first time a few years ago at a local show way up here in Ontario. They were all the same beetle (I assume) as the ones shown in this thread. They were priced very affordably, but with that many all at once, I became suspicious. I picked up one and saw that if I poked the wing cover, it was still flexible. Are there really so many of this particular type of beetle, or what are the odds that these are modern ones mounted/stuck to a clump of tar. Also, are they really from LaBrea? I thought that was "off limits" but the nearby McKittrick pits had them as well and collecting was permitted. Again, no issues, just wanting to learn, and maybe buy one if I see them here again.

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Bobby Rico
7 hours ago, Northern Sharks said:

Not doubting authenticity here, but just curious. I saw a number of these beetles for the first time a few years ago at a local show way up here in Ontario. They were all the same beetle (I assume) as the ones shown in this thread. They were priced very affordably, but with that many all at once, I became suspicious. I picked up one and saw that if I poked the wing cover, it was still flexible. Are there really so many of this particular type of beetle, or what are the odds that these are modern ones mounted/stuck to a clump of tar. Also, are they really from LaBrea? I thought that was "off limits" but the nearby McKittrick pits had them as well and collecting was permitted. Again, no issues, just wanting to learn, and maybe buy one if I see them here again.

Hi as far as I know about "tar" is it  does not become  mineralised per se, as it is soaked with bitumen, so I don't expect it to be rock like. The beatle I have is from Rancho La Brea Formation of Mckittrick . Maybe Doren or Ralph will have more of a understanding. :)

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caldigger

They are from McKittrick. I stated so to Bobby.

It is part of the Rancho La Brea Formation and contains the same animals. Just not as popularized as the Los Angeles location.

The beetles are flesh eating insects and you can just imagine how many would be crawling on a single carcass...many!

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Bobby Rico
2 hours ago, caldigger said:

You got a top notch wife there Bobby!

But then again, something tells me you already knew that. ;)

I am very lucky in life as Mrs R tells me daily. I have no complaints. :)

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Tidgy's Dad
44 minutes ago, Bobby Rico said:

I am very lucky in life as Mrs R tells me daily. I have no complaints. :)

wifey always tells me how lucky I am also.

So it must be true.

I am not allowed to have any complaints.:D

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BLT
2 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I am not allowed to have any complaints.:D

:rofl: 

 

Sounds familiar! ;)

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Bobby Rico
4 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

wifey always tells me how lucky I am also.

So it must be true.

I am not allowed to have any complaints.:D

I am allowed to complain but nobody is listening. :)

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caldigger
On 2/14/2019 at 8:11 AM, Bobby Rico said:

I am allowed to complain but nobody is listening. :)

Or you only complain when nobody is around to listen. ;)

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siteseer
On 2/14/2019 at 6:16 AM, Northern Sharks said:

Not doubting authenticity here, but just curious. I saw a number of these beetles for the first time a few years ago at a local show way up here in Ontario. They were all the same beetle (I assume) as the ones shown in this thread. They were priced very affordably, but with that many all at once, I became suspicious. I picked up one and saw that if I poked the wing cover, it was still flexible. Are there really so many of this particular type of beetle, or what are the odds that these are modern ones mounted/stuck to a clump of tar. Also, are they really from LaBrea? I thought that was "off limits" but the nearby McKittrick pits had them as well and collecting was permitted. Again, no issues, just wanting to learn, and maybe buy one if I see them here again.

 

Hi Northern,

 

These beetles are likely no older than from 30,000 years ago and perhaps even Early Holocene so they haven't been flattened nor mineralized in any way.  The beetle you see is the most common insect found.  I know this because I have prepped them in the raw matrix which is often crumbly.  A squirt of acetone helps find a bone sticking out against the duller matrix but you have to be careful to keep from destabilizing the tar too much and specimens are fragile.  Most beetles have lost their heads or a wing cover or both and are not salvageable.  It's just not worth the time to try to put one together from parts.  We use Butvar mixed with actetone to solidify the "good ones" in matrix and to keep the matrix from "shedding" later.  I have found smaller beetles that still have some of their original iridescence but they aren't common.  I've seen complete millipedes and dragonflies and one excellent predaceous diving beetle at shows over the years, but in my own prep, I've seen only partial millipedes and a partial dragonfly.

 

A few guys dug McKittrick back in the 60's-80's and they found some good stuff (mammal bones and skulls and apparently an elk skeleton) but it was filthy work requiring the digging of multiple test pits over several days and often yielding little to nothing.  They threw away their clothes from that day because they just weren't washable.  Digging was also pretty much restricted to this time of year when the tar was less goopy (technical term) thanks to the cool weather. 

 

I haven't heard of anyone going digging out there recently.  For the ambitious collector it could be a worthwhile research project finding out where to dig and who to ask for permission these days.

 

Jess

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