Researchers have found that prehistoric mammal bones pulled from the La Brea Tar Pits show insect damage, which can be used to determine when and how the animals perished in the pits. According to the study, beetles left chew marks in the bones, which led scientists to estimate that the mastodons, bison, ground sloths, saber-toothed cats, camels and horses were caught in the pit during spring and summer, and spent about 17 to 20 weeks on the surface while insects feasted on their carcasses.

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