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Vertebrate Paleontology

Exploring how (and when) whales, dolphins and porpoises evolved the ability to efficiently swim through the water. 

Student scanning a mammoth skull.

The Burke Museum and College of Engineering are collaborating to scan and 3D print a large-scale mammoth.

An extinct animal often cited as a ‘missing link’ between modern seals and their four-limbed, land-dwelling ancestors.

Carnivore fossils in the Burke Museum paleontology collection.

How does competition between species affect their long-term evolution?

Bruce cuts into the cast containing the Columbian mammoth tus

We started removing the cast covering LuLu the Columbian mammoth's tusk to get a glimpse into its preservation.

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.

fossil specimen photographed for paleontology database

The Burke's paleontological collections are accessible and searchable in this online database.

Brandon Peecook

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

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.

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

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