Fossils

Studying fossils teaches us about plants and animals of the past, including our human ancestors. Go back in time and discover the stories that fossils can reveal.

  • Crinoid fossil
    Identify fossils

    An amazing variety of fossils can be found in Britain. If you'd like help identifying something you find or would like to know more about it, post your photos and questions in our forum.

  • Part of a fossil rhinoceros pelvis found at Eccles-on-Sea, Norfolk
    Clues to Britain’s own ancient Atlantis

    Watch a video about a significant bounty of fossils found on a UK beach. At half a million years old, they could point scientists to the oldest undersea archaeological site in the world.

  • Fossilised leaf of Glossopteris indica collected by Scott’s polar party.
    Scott’s Glossopteris specimen

    Glossopteris, an extinct fossilised plant, was first collected in Antarctica by Captain Scott’s Polar Party. Find out why this discovery has helped us understand how the modern Earth formed.

  • Snakestone fossil
    Fossil Folklore

    From ammonites to sharks' teeth, explore myths about fossils from all over the world and find out the facts behind the stories.

  • The oldest fossil insect in the world
    The oldest fossil insect in the world

    A specimen that has been sitting in the Museum's collection for over 60 years is confirmed as the world's oldest fossil insect.

  • Tyrannosaurus dinosaur
    Dino directory

    Which dinosaurs lived in Britain? Check out our guide to over 300 dinosaurs and search by country, date or using the A-Z.

  • Dino-birds
    Dino-birds

    Are today’s birds descendants of the dinosaurs? Explore the evidence that proved exactly that.

  • Earth lab fossils
    Earth-lab datasite

    Find out about fossils, minerals and rocks discovered in your local area with the Earth Lab database.

  • Virtual specimens
    Virtual specimens

    Examine our virtual specimens, from fossilised trilobites to the bizarre Anomalocaris that stalked the seas 540 million years ago.

  • A fungus gnat, Scobia spinosa, in amber
    The search for DNA in amber

    Scientists discuss the controversial debate over whether dinosaur DNA really can be extracted from the fossilized resin of ancient trees.

  • A cluster of fossil serpulid worm tubes, Rotularia, from the Eocene
    Cyclical fossil record research

    Museum scientists discover new explanation for patterns in the fossil record.