Ulster Museum

Fossils and Evolution

Some of the museum’s finest fossils are on display in this gallery, from tiny shells to a giant fossil fish. Discover how evolution explains the similarities, and differences, between living things.

Permanent display

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Creatures past and present

With a mix of ancient fossils and modern creatures, there is something to amaze and inform every visitor. From an elephant skull and whale backbone, to giant armadillos and a fearsome fossil fish 4 metres long, marvel at some of these giants of past and present.

Skeletons and skulls

Discover the amazing similarities between your skeleton and that of a monkey or a mouse. Or even a bat! And how a skull says so much about what you eat.

Evolution explained

Evolution explains how, and why, all life today shares so many similarities, such as the arrangement of bones in mice and men. It makes sense too of the sequence of fossils found in different layers of rock, and of seemingly strange fossils found in ancient rocks.

Fabulous fossils

From fossil footprints to bitten bones, ancient seashells to petrified plants, discover how living things leave a record in the rocks. Marvel at the amazing ‘Snapshot of an ancient sea floor’, where painstaking excavation of the rock has uncovered hundreds of exquisite ammonite shells banked up against several fossil tree branches.

What on Earth?

Try our ‘What on Earth?’ object quiz. Can you identify the weird and wonderful objects from our natural sciences collection?