Saber-Tooth Cat Comes to Life

A Henson-built puppet teaches prehistoric buffs at the tar pits.

Natural History Museum

There are a lot of commonalities between those people who dig for tar pits fossils and those people who create animal puppets and make them talk.

The most obvious one is that the La Brea Tar Pits are just a few minutes away from the Jim Henson Studios, which just happen to be on La Brea Boulevard.

La Brea? You're magic. Obviously.

But a love of storytelling and the natural world also tie the two together. And you'll see that partnership in full, big-teethed display when a saber-tooth cat puppet visits the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits on Sunday, June 10.

The cat is a collaboration between the Henson Creature Shop and the brainy people who work at the pits, so it is flat-out cool. So cool, and so realistic, that there is a warning listed that little kids may find the giant cat a bit scary.

But if you aren't scared of this enormous furry puppet and her wee saber-tooth baby -- another puppet -- then you'll get a close-up view of how this animal lived in the late Pleistocene. And while we do love to look at illustrations and models, there's something intriguing about watching an animal that has been extinct for eons "come to life" right before our eyes, with natural movements and head turns and paw scratches.

There are three times for Ice Age Encounters on Sunday, June 10, all around midday; no additional ticket is necessary but you will need to pay Page Museum admission.

And if you miss this date? There are a few more to come in June. We say "rrrowr" to that.

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