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. 

historic photo of man standing with a spiral fossil burrow

The History of Paleontology in the NPS

The history of NPS fossil preservation and growth of paleontology in U.S. are linked through colorful stories of exploration and discovery.

cover of coloring book with cartoon drawing of rangers and kids looking at fossils

Prehistoric Life Coloring Book

The Prehistoric Life of the National Parks coloring book is now live with extra bonus coloring pages to download!

mural of prehistoric sharks

Sharks, Fossils, and Caves

Secrets Revealed at Mammoth Cave!

view of rock layers in grand canyon

3D Fossils—Grand Canyon Paleontology

Celebrating 100 Years of Paleontological Discoveries in the Grand Canyon.

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: October 13, 2020

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