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Preparing an Extinct Toothed Whale

Overhead shot of two male researchers incasing a fossil of a Squalodontidae in a white plaster jacket before removing bones.
A time-lapse video shows researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute racing to excavate the fossil of an extinct toothed whale...

Fossil of an Extinct Trilobite

Tan, U-shaped fossil on a black background. Fossil has three segments: Head, neck or thorax, and tail with about 12 legs.
Trilobites are extinct, but lived on Earth for about 290 million years, achieving incredible abundance during from the Cambrian to Devonian. Trilobites are one of the most diverse groups of extinct...

Past and Present Climate Change Webcast with Scott Wing

Maggy Benson and paleobotanist Dr. Scott Wing at table with fossil plants. He is holding a mobile GPS device. Plant backdrop.
In this video, paleobotanist Dr. Scott Wing reveals evidence for changes in plant communities during a distinct global warming event about 56 million years ago.

Bird Extinction Webcast with Helen James

Maggy Benson and ornithologist Helen James at a table that has specimens and fossils of birds on it. A green plant backdrop.
In this video, ornithologist Dr. Helen James explains what prehistoric evidence can tell you about bird extinctions.

Fossil of an Ancient Fern-like Plant

Brown colored fossil of an Ancient Fern-like Plant on a blue background.
Weedy, fern-like plants appear in the latest Devonian, specialized to colonize disturbed sites such as volcanic landscapes. By the middle Carboniferous, all major fern growth forms were present:...

Ancient Seal-Like Animal

Black shaded drawing of a ancient seal-like animal that split off from other carnivorous mammals 20-25 million years ago.
Fossils suggest that marine pinnipeds (seals and walruses) split off from other carnivorous mammals 20-25 million years ago. The oldest known pinniped fossil is an extinct seal, Puijila darwini ,...

How Do We Know What Dinosaurs and other Extinct Animals Ate?

Close up photo of tiger and horse skulls on a table, used to compare their teeth explain what extinct animals ate.
National Museum of Natural History scientist Dr. Nick Pyenson explains how paleontologists get information about what dinosaurs and other extinct animals ate. Comparing modern to fossil dentition, he...

Solving the Dinosaur Mystery Webcast with Kirk Johnson

A woman in a red shirt and man in a black shirt sitting at a table with plant and animal fossils. He is holding a fossil.
In this video, Dr. Kirk Johnson explains evidence for what happened during the mass extinction event 66 million years ago.

Fossil Whales Webcast with Nick Pyenson

Maggy Benson and paleontologist Dr. Nick Pyenson at a table with fossil whale skeletons He his holding a Walrus skull fossil.
In this video, paleontologist Dr. Nick Pyenson explains how fossil whales reveal environments of the past.

Marine Fossils and Extinction Webcast with Gene Hunt

A woman in a yellow shirt and a man in a plaid shirt sit at a table with antlers and other objects on it.
In this video, paleontologist Dr. Gene Hunt explains how he uses fossils to study a marine extinction mystery.


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