• A sculpture of an ancient mollusk.

    "Movie Monster" Re-Created

    The Spiky Creature Lived About 390 Million Years Ago

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Humans have walked the Earth for 190,000 years, a mere blip in Earth's 4.5-billion-year history. Learn more about the planet's tumultuous past.

More About the Prehistoric World

  • Image: Artwork of flying pterosaurs.

    Prehistoric Time Line

    National Geographic's interactive time line takes you on a 4.5-billion-year-old trip through Earth's history⎯from its Precambrian birth to the birth of Homo sapiens some 190,000 years ago.

  • Photo: Fossil of reptile wing

    Pterosaurs—Lords of the Ancient Skies

    The largest animals that ever flew, pterosaurs ruled the Mesozoic skies for 150 million years, flapping and soaring long before the first bird ruffled a single feather.

  • Photo: Woman digging up dinosaur bones

    Fossil Wars

    In the international fossil trade, even priceless specimens have a price tag. Ancient bones can end up in a movie star's mansion as easily as in a museum.

  • Image: Dinosaur extinction

    Mass Extinctions

    More than 90 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct. Learn how millions of creatures can disappear in a geological blink of an eye—and see what might be next.

The Innovators Project

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How to Feed Our Growing Planet

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    Feed the World

    National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.

See blogs, stories, photos, and news » »


  • Explaining Stillbirth

    A new study on marmoset monkeys offers some hints about the causes of stillbirth.


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Latest Video

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    Life and Death in a Bird E.R.

    The Wild Bird Fund is the only center in New York City to nurse birds and treat their injuries. The goal is to release the birds back into the wild. Video.

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Shop Our Space Collection

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    Be the First to Own Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

    The updated companion book to Carl Sagan's Cosmos, featuring a new forward by Neil deGrasse Tyson is now available. Proceeds support our mission programs, which protect species, habitats, and cultures.

Shop now »