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 280 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. 

painting of two dinosaurs walking across a dry lake bed
Age of Dinosaurs

Dinosaur fossils found at least 21 NPS areas encompasses everything from some of the earliest to the last known dinosaurs of North America.

Artwork depicting the Coconino desert environment and two primitive tetrapods
Fossil Footprints Across Our Parks

Take a virtual ranger-guided hike through time and across parks!

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.

photo of a dinosaur skull sculpture on display outdoors
Park Paleontology Newsletter

Get news and updates from around the parks and NNLs.

person at large fossil trackway
Explore National Park Fossils

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

view of rock layers in grand canyon
3D Fossils—Grand Canyon Paleontology

Celebrating 100 Years of Paleontological Discoveries in the Grand Canyon.

mural of prehistoric sharks
Sharks, Fossils, and Caves

Secrets Revealed at Mammoth Cave!

park ranger standing next to a model of a fossil crocodile skull
Education & Outreach Program

Find education resources, Junior Paleontologist information, coloring books, and more.

Last updated: July 29, 2022


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