Top left: Diatom fossils from Point Reyes
Top right: fossilized shells from Golden Gate 
Bottom: Baleen whale fossil from Point Reyes

Paleontological resources (fossils) have taught us many things about the history of life on Earth. Shells, bones or leaves show when and where organisms lived and died, and burrows, footprints and trails, allow us to “see” the behavior of long extinct organisms. Fossils also tell us about the age and formation of land masses and oceans. A wide diversity of fossils including marine and terrestrial plants and animals can be found in Bay Area national parks and in park or local university collections. Much about these resources still remains a mystery, so the parks are making a concerted effort to gather baseline paleontological resource data. Please keep in mind that park fossils are a protected resource and can only be collected with a research permit. If you find a fossil, please leave it in place and notify park staff so that its significance can be assessed.