Ancient Seas

FEATURES

Blog entry
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes the belugas and narwhals swimming our ocean today, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, their fossil record, although scarce, suggests that these animals' ranges could have...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
The whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups:...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
After a few long days of hard work on the island, we were finally able to...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized...

LATEST POSTS

Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi , unnamed protocetid, Ocucajea...
These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve, used one long heavy valve to...
How long have jellyfish lived in the ocean? This jellyfish fossil is from...

LEARN MORE

Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in...
Like the modern nautilus, this relative of modern squid hunted from inside the safe haven of a protective shell. Ammonites went extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs—65 million years ago...
Earth’s first animals had soft bodies. This illustration shows a community of soft-bodied Ediacaran (edi-A-karan) animals. Some species resemble living ocean creatures. Others are unlike any known...
Rudist clams are mollusks that went extinct about 65 million years ago. They were the reef builders of the Cretaceous Period, the heyday of the dinosaurs. Today corals have taken over the role...
The peaceful Archaeocyatha lived during the most recent part of the Cambrian period. They separated into many families and were the Earth’s first reef-building animals.
Hantkenina mexicana -- a foram with elongated shell chambers that lived between 45-49 million years ago, during the Eocene Epoch. This specimen is from marine sediments that were drilled in the...
The Haplophrentis carinatus had two oar-like appendages (called “helens”) used to stabilize the creature and help it move along the ocean bottom.
About 100 million years ago, during the heyday of the dinosaurs , reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams . They looked very different from today's coral reefs . Discover more about the...
Reaching almost three feet (one meter) long, Anomalocaris canadensis was enormous for this time period.
A scientific illustration of the most powerful fish of its time, Carcharodon megalodon , which swam the ocean 30 million years ago. This shark may have reached a size of 20 meters/66 feet. Meet other...
The great predator Hurdia victoria’s prey consisted of trilobites and other smaller animals crawling on the seafloor.
Ocean Overtime Timeline.
The foot-long extinct shark Falcatus falcatus lived during the early Carboniferous period around 325 million years ago. The species, known from fossils in the Bear Gulch formation of Montana , was...
About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams. Like modern clams, rudists were bivalves , with two shells (or valves) joined at a...
An archaeologist arranges a deep-sea core from off the coast of Britain. These cores are long cylinders of the earth's crust, drilled up from beneath the seafloor. When the cores shown here are...
A life-sized model suspended over visitors at the San Diego Natural History Museum shows what an ancient shark, the Giant Megatooth ( Carcharodon megalodon ), might have looked like. More about the...
Long before great white sharks appeared, much larger ancestors roamed the ocean. This giant ancient shark -- the Giant Megatooth ( Carcharodon megalodon ) -- was probably big enough to eat a whale.
The Ottoia prolifica has proven that cannibalism did exist in the Cambrian period since there have been portions of one Ottoia prolifica found in another specimen’s gut.
Dugongs , along with manatees , make up a group of marine mammals called sirenians or seacows . In the modern world, only one species of seacow is found in any one place in the world. However, the...
Subscribe to Ancient Seas