Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Website Search Box

Department of Paleobiology

Our mission is to increase public and scientific understanding of the biological and environmental history of Earth through the study of fossil animals, plants, and protists. In addition to performing scientific research, we assemble and curate fossil collections that are studied by scientists from around the country and the world, we exhibit extraordinary fossils in the public spaces of our Museum and we help train future generations of paleontologists.

The Paleobiology Department is celebrating over 50 years!

  • Cub Scouts View the Stegosaurus.

  • Paleontology Exhibit in the Arts and Industries Exhibit.

  • The dinosaur known as "Diplodocus longus" in the "Extinct Monsters Hall".

  • Charles Gilmore with Paleontology Exhibit at the Conference on the Future, 1927.

  • G. Arthur and his wife Josephine Cooper.

  • The Vertebrate Paleontology Exhibit in the East Central Hall 1913.

  • Two Dinosaur Skeletons and the Stegosaurus Papier Mache Model 1930.

  • Vertebrate Paleontology Hall (Dinosaur Hall) 1930.

  • Paleontology Laboratory 1913.

  • Storage cases housing the paleobotany collection.

  • Charles Walcott at quarry excavating the Burgess Shale.

  • Smithsonian Secretary Charles Doolittle Walcott.

  • Paper Mache Stegosaurus.

  • Smithsonian Geologists 1886.

  • Paleontology Laboratory 1913.

  • American Mastodon Skeleton 1917.

  • Hall of Extinct Monsters 1913.

  • Washington Star 1905.

For more Paleobiology Department history click on the Pteranodon (1930 mount)

go to history section

Plans for our temporary and future exhibit halls can be found at this link.

New Halls