Welcome to the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life

Identify fossils and explore the diversity and history of life on Earth


We need your support

Continued development and maintenance of the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life and the Paleontological Research Institution's (PRI's) broader [email protected] project depends on support from visitors like you.

Donations of any amount are welcome.


What's new?

April 20, 2021
Skulls of ancient hominids have been added to the Virtual Collection.
Explore here.

January 27, 2021
A page on branching has been added to the Embryophtes (land plants) chapter.
Explore here.
October 30, 2020
The bivalve chapter of the Digital Encyclopedia is now online.
Explore here.

Regional field guides to fossils

Need help identifying your fossil discoveries?
Access Digital Atlas field guides to fossils from particular time periods and regions by selecting from the guides above, or by downloading Version 2.0 of the free Digital Atlas of Ancient Life App, available now for iOS and Android devices.

Interactive, 3D models of fossil and modern specimens. 


Virtual Exhibits

Explore virtual museum exhibits about different topics in natural history

New: Our first virtual exhibit, "Survivors: Up Close with Living Fossils," is online now. Explore here.

Classroom lesson plans, activities, and associated materials that relate to the Ordovician, Cretaceous, and Neogene Atlases. All of these resources may be freely accessed and downloaded here.