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Department of Paleobiology

The Paleobiology Department has developed specialized, interesting, and fun websites on focused topics and useful tools.

Backyard Dinosaurs Website

Cerro Ballena
Cerro Ballena is a unique fossil site in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Backyard Dinosaurs Website

Evolve or Perish Board Game
Learn about ancient life as you move your player through 600 million years of evolution and extinction.

Backyard Dinosaurs Website

Backyard Dinosaurs
What did Washington, D.C. look like 110 million years ago, and how do we know?

Dinosaur Website

Some of the most important dinosaurs known to science stand in our exhibit halls.

Fossil Lab

Paleontologists and volunteers work in this glass-enclosed space on new fossil shipments from the field.

Blast from the past

Blast from the Past!
New evidence of an asteroid impact 65 million years ago.

Life of a Vertebrate Fossil

Life of a Vertebrate Fossil
Follow what paleontologists do in each stage in the life of a vertebrate fossil.

Burgess Shale

Burgess Shale
The famous Canadian fossils discovered by Smithsonian's Charles Walcott.

Geologic Time

Geologic Time
The story of a changing earth through time.

Paleo Art

Paleo Art
Paleontological art has been used to disseminate our research findings since 1846.


Videos from the Prehistoric Footprints National Monument in New Mexico. Fossils, Geology, Public Access.

Underground Carboniferous Rainforest

Underground Rainforest
Preserved in the ceiling of a coal mine 250 feet below.

Giant Fossil Tree

Giant Fossil Scale Tree
One of the largest plant fossils ever collected, weighing more than 16 tons.


See a new life restoration of the enigmatic Permian shark, Helicoprion.

Polyglot Paleo

Polyglot Paleontologist
Downloadable English translations of hundreds of paleontological papers.

Shark Tooth Key

Shark Tooth Key (pdf)
How to sort out and identify fossil shark teeth.

Archaeocete Whales

Archaeocete Whales (pdf)
Bibliography of all scientific, and some popular, works.
(Endnote version here)