Can USGS photos of fossils be downloaded or viewed online?

Some fossil photos can be viewed and downloaded from the USGS Photographic Library and our Multimedia Gallery. Fossil photos can also be viewed as published plates within many online USGS publications. Visit the USGS Publications Warehouse to search for publications. The best keywords for searches are author names, such as William Cobban, Norm Silberling, and Glenn Scott.

The USGS fossil collection was moved to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2020, so they are another good source.

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Did people and dinosaurs live at the same time?

No! After the dinosaurs died out, nearly 65 million years passed before people appeared on Earth. However, small mammals (including shrew-sized primates) were alive at the time of the dinosaurs. Many scientists who study dinosaurs (vertebrate paleontologists) now think that birds are direct descendants of one line of carnivorous dinosaurs, and...

Did all the dinosaurs live together, and at the same time?

Dinosaur communities were separated by both time and geography. The 'Age of Dinosaurs' (the Mesozoic Era ) included three consecutive geologic time periods (the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods). Different dinosaur species lived during each of these three periods. For example, the Jurassic dinosaur Stegosaurus had already been extinct...
Filter Total Items: 6
Date published: August 31, 2015

"Mutant" Fossils Reveal Toxic Metals May Have Contributed to World’s Largest Extinctions

Toxic metals such as iron, lead and arsenic may have helped cause mass extinctions in the world’s oceans millions of years ago, according to recent research from the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Center for Scientific Research, France; and Ghent University, Belgium.

Date published: May 26, 2015

Mammoths Reached the California Channel Islands Much Earlier Than Previously Thought

Recently, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and partners working in California’s Channel Islands National Park discovered mammoth remains in uplifted marine deposits that date to about 80,000 years ago, confirming a long-held but never proven hypothesis that mammoths may have been on the Channel Islands long before the last glacial period 25,000 to 12,000 years ago.

Attribution: Land Resources
Date published: November 24, 2014

New Volume Documents the Science at the Legendary Snowmastodon Fossil Site in Colorado

Four years ago, a bulldozer operator turned over some bones during construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado. Scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science were called to the scene and confirmed the bones were those of a juvenile Columbian mammoth, setting off a frenzy of excavation, scientific analysis, and international media attention.

Date published: November 18, 2010

Snowmass Fossil Site Provides Opportunity to Study Past Vegetation and Climate in Colorado

An Ice Age fossil site recently discovered in Snowmass Village, Colo., is providing a trio of U.S. Geological Survey scientists with a laboratory to study more than 100,000 years of vegetation and climate records in Colorado.

Date published: May 10, 2007

Newly Discovered Fossil Sponges Share Scientific Secrets About Ancient Marine Environments

The urban bedrock of a low-relief landscape beneath a crowded city seems like an unusual place for a significant fossil discovery. However, four distinct fossil sites found along the walls of canals in metropolitan Miami, Florida, indicate these locations were once a unique marine habitat.

Date published: October 21, 1997

Ancient, Tiny Fossils Contribute to Retrofit of San Francisco-Oakland Bridge

The presence of 125,000-year-old microfossils in the muds of San Francisco Bay may help engineers decide where and how to rebuild the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, according to a U.S. Geological Survey(USGS)scientist in Menlo Park, Calif.

Attribution:
Filter Total Items: 17
USGS Mollusk Collection
November 6, 2018

Mollusk Fossils

USGS Mollusk Fossils in the Denver Collection.

Epigaulus hatcheri horned rodent fossil
September 24, 2018

Epigaulus hatcheri, horned rodent fossil found near Salida, CO

 

Epigaulus hatcheri (Matthews 1901). This horned rodent is from the Miocene Dry Union Formation near Salida, CO. Partial skull discovered in 1968 by Glenn Scott and the horn cores discovered at the same locality one year later by Bob O'Donnell.

Attribution:
Florida Keys fossil reef corals, fossil corals from Puerto Rico, California fossil solitary corals, and fossil coral from Isla G
July 6, 2017

Various fossil corals

Florida Keys fossil reef corals, fossil corals from Puerto Rico, California fossil solitary corals, and fossil coral from Isla Guadalupe, Baja California

This Placenticeras meeki ammonite specimen from our Campanian Pueblo, Colorado Pierre Shale collection of the CRC website
November 23, 2016

This Placenticeras meeki ammonite specimen from our Campanian Pueblo,

This Placenticeras meeki ammonite specimen from our Campanian Pueblo, Colorado Pierre Shale collection is now at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where it will become part of their new Paleobiology display of fossils from the Upper Cretaceous. A

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Microfossils
October 19, 2016

Microfossils

Plant and animal microfossils—pollen, algae, mollusks, forams, and ostracodes—from sediment cores serve as proxies to assess water quality changes during the past several thousand years in the bay.  This dinocyst (fossil algae) specimen is about 90 micrometers across. Photograph credit: Lucy Edwards, USGS

Image: Mysterious Fossils from the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater and Beyond
March 14, 2016

Mysterious Fossils from the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater and Beyond

Photo of fossil algae (dinocyst). Specimen is about 90 micrometers across.The largest known impact crater in the U.S. lies buried beneath the Virginia Coastal Plain. The late Eocene Chesapeake Bay impact event caused a wide variety of distinctive features, such as fossil algae (dinocysts) that were found in drilled cores from hundreds to thousands of feet below the surface

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Attribution: Ecosystems
USGS CoreCast
December 7, 2010

Fossil Discovery Makes History: Studying a Prehistoric Climate and Ecosystem in Colorado

A trio of USGS scientists has been involved in the excavation and study of a major animal and plant fossil discovery in Snowmass Village, Colo., which provides more than 100,000 years of vegetation and climate records for the area. This recent find includes Columbian mammoths, mastodons, extinct bison, Ice Age deer, and a 9-foot ground sloth, and the USGS team is studying

Fossils at Año Nuevo Point, California
June 19, 2008

Fossils at Año Nuevo Point, California

Fossil rock-boring clams (pholads) in the wave-cut bench of a marine terrace dated to ~80,000 years by U-series methods on corals (Muhs, D.R., Simmons, K.R., Kennedy, G.L., Ludwig, K.R., and Groves, L.T., 2006, A cool eastern Pacific Ocean at the close of the last interglacial complex: Quaternary Science

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Image: Fossil Fish (Jiang Hanichthys)
February 20, 2008

Fossil Fish (Jiang Hanichthys)

Fossilized Jiang Hanichthys, an extinct fish that lived from the Cretaceaous to 100 million years ago. Item originally from Hubai Province, China.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Image: Fossil Fish (Jiang Hanichthys)
February 20, 2008

Fossil Fish (Jiang Hanichthys)

Fossilized Jiang Hanichthys, an extinct fish that lived from the Cretaceaous to 100 million years ago. Item originally from Hubai Province, China.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Image: Trilobite Fossil (Phacops rana africana)
February 20, 2008

Trilobite Fossil (Phacops rana africana)

A fossilized Trilobite, Phacops rana africana, an extinct marine invertebrate. Item originally from Alnif, Morocco.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Image: Trilobite Fossil
February 20, 2008

Trilobite Fossil

Trilobite fossil, an extinct marine invertebrate. Item originally from Alnif, Morocco.

Attribution: Ecosystems