Life and Times of Washington State

Friday, October 9, 2015

Experience the evolution of Washington through geology, biology and archaeology.

A visitor stops to admire the stegosaurus in the Burke's Life and Times exhibit.

A visitor stops to admire the stegosaurus in the Burke's Life and Times exhibit. 
Photo: Andrew Waits 

Life and Times of Washington State is a hands-on adventure that begins 545 million years ago and leads you through the evolution of Washington’s geology, biology and archaeology. Starting when most of Washington was covered by an ancient sea, you'll see giant skeletons of dinosaurs, including StegosaurusElasmosaurus and a 140-million-year-old Allosaurus.

Among the many other specimens on display are beautiful 35 to 40-million-year-old fossil crabs, a cast of a 10,000-year-old mastodon and a 20,000-year-old saber-toothed cat. There's even a 12,000-year-old giant ground sloth that was found during construction at Sea-Tac Airport!

As you pass these ancient beasts, look for the stone artifacts from the famous East Wenatchee Clovis Cache. You will see long stone spear points and other artifacts made by ancient hunters in our state more than 11,000 years ago. Along the way, you'll also walk through a rumbling volcano filled with incredible rock and mineral specimens, climb inside a replica cave formed when an ancient rhino was trapped by a lava flow, and see the oldest baleen whale fossil ever found. Learn how Washington came to be!

Life and Times changes | April 16–20
Sections of the Life & Times gallery may be temporarily closed during the week of April 16-20 as we make changes to several exhibits in preparation for moving to the New Burke.
Four specimens—the mastodon, giant ground sloth, fossil baleen whale and mosasaur—will be removed so they can be prepared for display in the New Burke Museum. The mastodon will be replaced with a smilodon and the giant ground sloth will be replaced by another fossil sloth for visitors to enjoy in the meantime.
The current building will remain open to visitors through 2018. Currently there are no other specimens or objects planned to come off of display. 
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