Encircled by palm trees lining the outdoor grounds of Park La Brea, a fossil-like sculpture of a saber tooth cat emerges, half-sunken, from a sandy floor.
To the passer-by and the public imagination, this skeletal sculpture injects a modern, iconic interpretation of natural history into the realm of unusual public artwork.
However contemporary its purpose may be, the sculpture's dramatically enlarged scale and dinosaur-like appearance produce a playful investigation into the prehistoric life force that once animated Los Angeles' sprawling desert basin.
Only blocks away, the La Brea tar pits - one of the most recognized fossil localities of the Earth's last Ice Age - draw crowds of thousands each year to study and learn about its peculiar geographical and geological personality.
These remarkably life-like, sculpted remains of a storybook creature bring imaginative access to La Brea's fossil excavation pits and unearth the forgotten history of a modern metropolis.
Residing at a unique juncture of the arts and recreation, and delicately integrated with its surrounding landscape, this sculpture also has a practical purpose: a children's playground and climbing structure.
While interactions with fossilized remains are typically limited to detached observation, this sculpture invites the viewer to touch, explore, and discover its disjoined features.