• 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

  • Photo: Gully bones

    Digging Up Sea Monsters

    Follow the blog from the Spitsbergen Expedition as they unearth "sea monsters″ from the Upper Jurassic Period 150 million years ago.

  • 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.

The Innovators Project

  • Abdel Kader Haidara - An Islamic scholar sorts through trunks of ancient manuscripts.

    Brave Sage of Timbuktu

    Abdel Kader Haidara had made it his life's work to document Mali's illustrious past. When the jihadists came, he led the rescue operation to save 350,000 manuscripts.

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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.

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Phenomena

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Latest 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.

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