National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
1st Floor, East Wing Floor Plan
This exhibition showcases the museum’s unrivaled collection of 46 million fossils, presents the most up-to-date scientific research on how life on Earth has evolved, and presents the fossil record in new ways to show how dinosaurs and other extinct creatures lived in changing environments.
Major themes woven in stories throughout the hall include:
- All life is connected—past, present and future—to all other life and to the Earth itself.
- Evolution: Life is continually changing through time.
- Ecosystems Change: Ecosystems changed through time and continue to do so.
- Earth Processes: Geological processes and global cycles cause ecosystem and evolutionary changes.
- Extinction: Mass extinctions have both periodically devastated and created new opportunities for life on Earth. Background extinctions occur one or a few at a time, scattered across the tree of life. Extinction of some species opens up opportunities for others to evolve.
- Human Connections: Humans, today’s world and the plants and animals people depend upon have intimate connections to deep time.
- Age of Humans and Global Change: Now, more than ever before, people are influencing life on Earth on the scale of geologic forces from the past. Humans are not only shaping the future but also the fate of life on Earth.