Fossils

FEATURES

Blog entry
The whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups: those with teeth (odontocetes), and those that have baleen (mysticetes) instead of teeth. These two groups share a common...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
One of the ocean's tiniest organisms often does the most harm. Microscopic...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
The evolution of whales represents one of the great stories in macroevolution...
Slideshow MORE STORIES Slideshow MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record...

LATEST CATCH

A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.
This fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dates back 290...
Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three...

DIVE DEEPER

When you're standing in a museum surrounded by fossils, you can almost imagine drifting through time to when long-extinct...
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of collaborators are heading into Chile's Atacama Desert , shown here. They'll study a rich bonebed of fossil marine vertebrates...
The evolution of whales represents one of the great stories in macroevolution. It's a narrative that has mostly benefitted from an extraordinary series of fossils recovered from rocks around the...
After a few long days of hard work on the island, we were finally able to excavate and remove , not just one, but two skeletons of an early "toothed" baleen whale from the rocks near the Carmanah...
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...
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
These deep-sea sediment cores were drilled from beneath the seafloor, and hold information about millions of years of ocean and atmospheric chemistry. As dirt, dead organisms, and other particles...
My graduate student Jorge and I are departing today for Panama, to excavate a fossil whale that was discovered by an undergraduate student working with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute...
George Mason University professor Mark D. Uhen and Dr. Matthew Lewin of the University of California, San Francisco, survey rocks of the Paracas Formation, in the southern part of Peru's Pisco Basin...
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.
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
When you're standing in a museum surrounded by fossils, you can almost imagine drifting through time to when long-extinct creatures swam the ocean. Found all over the world, these fossils can be read...
Paleobiologist Mark D. Uhen drills away rock to reveal the fossilized bones of Peruvian archaeocetes (ancient whales), in the Vertebrate Paleontology Department at the Museo de Historia Natural de...
Reaching almost three feet (one meter) long, Anomalocaris canadensis was enormous for this time period.
This fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dates back 290 million years. For a long time, people didn't know what the shark looked like—but, thanks to a CT scan of a fossil,...
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...
Microscopic, single-celled organisms called foraminifera have a fossil record that extends from today to more than 500 million years ago. Although each foram is just a single cell, they build complex...
Subscribe to Fossils