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Fossils

Burke paleontologists collected the partial skull of what's likely a Columbian mammoth after it was found along an eroded bluff near Sequim.

seal fossil

What can the fossil record tell us about how seals and sea lions evolved into the animals they are today?

researcher measuring skull fossil

Researchers are turning to the Burke’s collection of fossil baleen whales from the Pacific Northwest to better understand how the largest creatures on earth evolved.

aerial view of man wearing hardhat and safety vest down in a dirt pit working to excavate a mammoth tusk that is the same color as the dirt

Hi, I'm the Columbian mammoth whose tusk was unearthed at an AMLI Residential construction site in Seattle.

Brandon Peecook

Graduate Student Brandon Peecook and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology Christian Sidor described Washington’s first dinosaur fossil in May 2015.

DeVries Peruvian research area.

Raked by vigorous winds, with not a blade of grass in sight, Peru’s desert coast looks remarkably different from its past.

UW graduate student Chuck Beightol excavates a dinocephalian skeleton in Zambia, 2014.

The Zambian and Tanzanian fossil beds preserved both plants and animals, providing information on paleoclimate before and after extinction.

Zebra jaw showing high-crowned teeth.

Researchers sink their teeth into this tricky evolutionary question. 

Close-up of fossil phytolith.

By extracting phytoliths from once-living plants, scientists were able to uncover a story of vegetation change in response to climate.

Grass phytolith from an open-habitat grass discovered in the ancient soils.

30 million years ago, the world lacked its grass-dominated environments, but 70 million years ago, grasses had not evolved—or so we think. 

Washington's first dinosaur fossil gives insight into what the west coast was like 80 million years ago.

The water-logged tusk was encased in plaster

Seattle is abuzz after construction workers find an unexpected guest from the ice age.

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