Fossil bird collections

Collections include Archaeopteryx, large flightless birds (ratites), and recently extinct species such as the dodo.


Geological range:

Late Jurassic to Pleistocene

  • Fossil specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica at the Natural History Museum, London

    Learn more about the Archaeopteryx specimen cared for by the Museum, and why it is so important.

  • An elephant bird egg shown next to a much smaller hen egg

    Richard Owen was able to deduce the existence of large flightless birds, moas, from a fragment of long bone in the Museum's collections. Discover what other ratite material is in the fossil bird collection.

  • Prophaethon skull
    Cenozoic birds

    Read about fossil bird material in the collection from the Eocene, Miocene and Pleistocene. The latter makes up more than half of the collection.