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
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.
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.
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.
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
Meet some of science's most important movers and shakers—from past and present.
How to Feed Our Growing Planet
National Geographic explores how we can feed the growing population without overwhelming the planet in our food series.
A new study on marmoset monkeys offers some hints about the causes of stillbirth.
A National Geographic researcher is startled to see a Greenland shark where none has ever been seen before: off Russia's Franz Josef Land. Video
Shop Our Space Collection
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.