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Washington State
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.

Live male Pseudophrys lanigera.

Welcome to Washington! How did a spider common in Europe make its way to Seattle? We may never know, but it appears to be here to stay.

Kininnook's pole

Totem poles are thought of as symbols of Seattle by many residents and visitors, but, in fact, the indigenous people of Washington state did not traditionally carve totems. 

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.

white shell fossil on a black background

This website provides an illustrated guide to the benthic foraminifera found in Puget Sound.

olympic marmot in field

Washington is home to 141 species of mammals. Learn all about their habits and habitats, what they eat, where they live, and more.

Brandon Peecook

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

microscope focused on tiny fossilized creatures known as foraminifera

Foraminifera are tiny one-celled marine organisms that live on the sea floor and have a big story to tell about the health of Puget Sound.

What are foraminifera? What can they tell us about the health of Puget Sound? 

An illustration of the longfin sculpin (Jordania zonope)

In total, 253 fish species have been recorded in the Salish Sea, and that’s about 14 percent more than in the last count.

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

Lou-ann Neel holds a model totem carved by her grandfather in the culture collections

The Burke is dedicated to collaborating with diverse Native populations, sharing collections and learning together. 

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