Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
David H. Koch Hall of Fossils - Deep Time
From the Beginning of Life
The new, 31,000-square-foot fossil hall invites you to explore the epic story of how Earth’s distant past is connected to the present and informs our future.
Travel through ancient ecosystems, witness the evolution of life, and get up close to some 700 fossil specimens. Discover how human actions are driving Earth’s rapidly changing climate today much like long-ago geological events did in the past. Learn how to interpret the scientific evidence of the past and present, and see how the choices we make today will live far beyond us, in deep time.
Earth's distant past is connected to the present and informs our future
Deep Time starts at the very beginning—4.6-billion-years ago. But it ends in the future. Along the way, visitors will travel through ancient ecosystems, experience the evolution of plant and animal life, and get up close with some 700 specimens, including an Alaskan palm tree, early insects, reptiles and mammals, and dramatically posed giants like Tyrannosaurus rex, Diplodocus and the woolly mammoth.
The massive, 31,000-square-foot exhibition will inspire a new generation of dinosaur lovers and scientists. It will also prompt individuals to think about their own impact on the planet.
Unlike past extinction and warming events, human activities are driving Earth’s rapidly changing climate today. The exhibition will give visitors tools to interpret the past, present, and future and see how the choices they make today will live far beyond them, in deep time.
Did you know?
Many of the original murals from the old fossil hall by Jay Matternes are featured in Deep Time
Play video on original page
Evolve or Perish Board Game
Travel through 630 million years of evolution from life in the sea to life on land! Download this two to four player game in a variety of languages and learn more about the history of life on our planet.
Fossil Highlights

Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops
Deep Time Sponsorship
Be part of 4.6 billion years of history in the making. Sponsorship opportunities include financial and in-kind support.
Using the accessibility features and settings on your own device, you can read or listen to visual descriptions of the new fossil hall integrated with exhibit content.
Discover how all life is connected—past, present, and future—to all other life and to the Earth itself. Learn more about evolution, ecosystems, and extinction from the beginning of life 3.7 billion years ago to the Age of Humans today.
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David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins
Objects of Wonder
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