Preserving Our Rich Fossil Heritage

Fossils are evidence of ancient life. They are irreplaceable pieces of America's geologic heritage and tell the stories of America long before the United States existed. Fossils are found in the rocks, museum collections, and cultural contexts of more than 270 National Park Service areas and span every period of geologic time from billion-year-old stromatolites to Ice Age mammals that lived a few thousand years ago. 

view of rock layers in grand canyon

3D Fossils—Grand Canyon Paleontology

Celebrating 100 Years of Paleontological Discoveries in the Grand Canyon.

a fossilized stump of wood on the edge of a cliff that looks out on a green valley.

3D Fossils—Smithsonian's NPS Collections

Learn how the Smithsonian and NPS are working together to create 3D fossil models!

person at large fossil trackway

Explore National Park Fossils

Visit national parks with paleontological resources and learn more about our important fossil heritage.

Last updated: July 30, 2019

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