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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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66 million years ago

The last dinosaurs roamed what is now the Western Interior of North America. Then global catasprophe ended their reign, leaving only a single group of dinosaurs -- birds -- to survive.

Like all life, dinosaurs were part of a complex ecological community of animals and plants. Join us as we piece together a picture of their world by looking at fossils from this ancient time.

Excavating Hell Creek

Hell Creek Formation, North Dakota. Within this remotely located land formation lies a treasure trove of fossils shedding light on the the mysteries of life in the Cretaceous over sixty million years ago.

In July 2013, a team from the Museum traveled to North Dakota to collect fossils in the Hell Creek Formation for this exhibit. Over the course of a week, they found lots of fossil fragments on the surface and dug out a number of more completeremains to bring back to the Museum for careful preparation. Walk through time to explore their findings to the questions that help us understand America's last dinosaurs, their the lives, and their ultimate demise.

What's A Dinosaur?
What Do Fossils Reveal About Triceratops?
What Makes An Ecosystem?
What Doomed The Dinosaurs?


Tyrannosaurus rex
Sphaerotholus buchholtzae
Thescelosaurus neglectus
Torosaurus lactus
Trodon sp.

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