Fossils

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Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt: The Man History Forgot

Rediscover the 19th-century naturalist who traveled on four continents, wrote 2,500 letters, 36 books and hugely influenced early America

Southern elephant seals normally live in the South Atlantic, often as far south as Antarctica. These are young male Southern elephant seals from the South Shetland and Anvers islands, Antarctica.

Smithsonian Voices

What a 1,000-Year-Old Seal Skull Can Tell Us About Climate Change

In a new study, scientists explain how a seal native to the South Atlantic, but found in Indiana, likely swam to the middle of North America

This embryonic sauropod perished after about four-fifths of its development in an egg.

New Research

Why This 'Unicorn Baby Dinosaur' Is the 'Cutest,' 'Weirdest' Ever

The tiny sauropod had a horn on its snout and forward-facing eyes, unlike its adult counterparts

Geologist Allan Krill spotted these markings on a boulder the side of the Bright Angel Trail in 2016. The boulder weighs several hundred pounds.

Fallen Boulder at the Grand Canyon Reveals Prehistoric Reptile Footprints

313 million years ago, two reptilian creatures crept over this boulder's surface

About 70 miles south of the Natural History Museum, Westmoreland State Park’s Fossil Beach is a hotbed for prehistoric shark teeth.

Five Places Where You Can Collect Fossils in the D.C. Area

You don’t have to venture far to make awesome finds

An illustration of the 30-foot-long, dinosaur eating crocodilian Deinosuchus.

30-Foot 'Terror Crocodile' Ambushed Dinosaurs at Water’s Edge

Study says the five-ton extinct reptiles had teeth the size of bananas

Newly discovered fossils indicate the Asio ecuadoriensis owl hunted and ate various smaller species of owl.

This Giant Prehistoric Owl Was an Actual Cannibal

Fossils found in the Ecuadorian Andes suggest the creature was a formidable predator

A plant press used by researchers in the Hengduan Mountains

How Ancient Monsoons and Tectonic Shifts Shaped This Flowering Mountain Hotspot

The stunning biodiversity of alpine plants in China’s Hengduan Mountains can be traced back 30 million years, according to a new study

The Crocodylus checchiai  skull analyzed in the new paper came from an approximately 10-foot-long reptile.

New Research

New Evidence Suggests Ancient Crocodiles Swam From Africa to America

The prehistoric reptiles would have gotten some help from ocean currents

Reconstruction of Batrachopus trackmaker from the Lower Cretaceous Jinju Formation of South Korea

New Research

Fossil Footprints Suggest Ancient Crocodile Walked on Two Legs

The lumbering crocodylomorph lived during the early Cretaceous period, about 106 million years ago

A great white shark pictured off the coast of Mexico in 2006

Prehistoric Great White Shark Nursery Discovered in Chile

Young sharks grew up here millions of years ago, scientists say

An artist's rendering shows the armored dinosaur Borealopelta markmitchelli eating ferns, which new research shows made up the majority of its diet.

New Research

Exquisitely Preserved 'Mona Lisa' of Dinosaur Fossils Reveals Prehistoric Creature's Last Meal

Fossil plant matter found in the gut of the exquisitely preserved herbivore reveals its diet and even the season of its death

As erosion reshapes England’s Jurassic Coast, ancient fossils are revealed.

Virtual Travel

Why the Jurassic Coast Is One of the Best Fossil-Collecting Sites on Earth

Along a famed stretch of English coastline, amateurs and professionals collect 200-million-year-old treasures before they are reclaimed by the waves

Scientists discovered the remains of some 60 mammoths during excavations for a new airport in Mexico.

Remains of 60 Mammoths Discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists found the trove of bones just six miles from recently discovered human-made 'mammoth traps'

An artist’s rendering of what an elaphrosaur may have looked like.

Rare 'Light-Footed' Dinosaur Discovered in Australia for the First Time

A single vertebra spotted by a dig volunteer was identified as a strange, slender-necked dinosaur called an elaphrosaur

The full fossil with the body of the squid on the left and the fish to the right.

Cool Finds

200-Million-Year-Old Fossil Captures Squid Viciously Entangled With Its Prey

The specimen may be the earliest known example of a squid-like creature on the attack

Peale’s mastodon returns to the U.S. as part of this year's upcoming exhibition “Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Alexander von Humboldt

The Story of Charles Willson Peale’s Massive Mastodon

When a European intellectual snubbed the U.S., the well-known artist excavated the giant fossil as evidence of the new Republic’s strength and power

The Fox tunnel is one of only two underground facilities dedicated exclusively to the scientific study of permafrost where a visitor can actually walk around inside the frozen earth.

In a Tunnel Beneath Alaska, Scientists Race to Understand Disappearing Permafrost

What lies inside the icy cavern seems more and more like a captive, rare animal, an Earth form that might soon be lost

Adalatherium hui's strange teeth made it especially difficult to classify.

New Research

66-Million-Year-Old 'Crazy Beast' Finds a Taxonomical Home

The opossum-sized mammal lived in Madagascar at the end of the age of the dinosaurs

An artist's reconstruction of Spinosaurus, showing a paddle-like tail that would have helped it swim.

Groundbreaking Fossil Suggests Spinosaurus Is First Known Swimming Dinosaur

Its paddle-like tail, unearthed in Morocco, suggests the Cretaceous carnivore ventured into the water to hunt