La Bera Tar Pits are well known
For ice-age monsters that called them home:
The mammoths, ground sloths, short-faced bears
And saber-toothed cats found there.
It’s from the smallest creatures that
We learn about the habitat.
Bacteria once unnamed,
From insects and from pollen grains.
Flies and termites, water fleas;
We draw a picture based on these
Of a forest moist and dim
That formed the home they all lived in.
Two rare pupa bees were found,
Trapped forever in the ground,
Did not emerge or fly or mate,
But others of their kind escaped.
And while the lions now are gone
Leafcutter bees continue on.