From the Beginning

Taking you right back to the big bang and the history of time itself, here you can explore the distant past, discover early sea creatures, mammals and ancient fossils – and take a peek into the Earth’s future...

From the Beginning gallery.

Experience the story of the survival of life on Earth in this interactive gallery. See how the planet has evolved by examining the time rail that runs through the gallery. With every step you take, you move on 25 million years.

Giant crocodile skull, with T.rex skull next to it.

This fearsome creature was a gigantic crocodile. Its skull is estimated to be 83–71 million years old – older even than the T. rex skull next to it. The beast may have preyed on dinosaurs at the water’s edge.

Skull of an early horse

The horse has undergone a long process of evolution to become the creature we know today. This is the skull of an early horse found in Harwich, in Essex. It lived some 54 million years ago and evolved after the dinosaurs became extinct.

Fossil bat from the Messel Pit, Germany

After the flying reptiles became extinct, mammals took to the air and diversified. This fossil bat, Palaeochiropteryx tupaiodon, is of one of the earliest bats and is dated to 49 million years old. It was found in Messel Pit in Germany and lived in the Eocene period, like Ida, the recently-discovered 47-million-year-old, lemur-like fossil primate.

The planets in our solar system.

Travel back in time and discover the amazing story of the solar system and Earth's place within it. Did you know Saturn’s low density means it would float in water? Or that the surface of Mars is red because of iron oxide dust?

One of the oldest rocks on Earth.

One of the oldest rocks on Earth is about 3,850 million years old and was found in Greenland. The different layers show how intense heat and pressure have altered the sediments in the rock.

What is Earth's future?

Watch the projected moving images on the spinning globe exhibit which shows us the possible visions of Earth’s future.

Floor Plans
Floor Plans

Evolution app for iPad

Our new Evolution app for iPad

Explore more than 650 million years of Earth's extraordinary history with our first app for iPad, NHM Evolution.

Learn about more than 800 creatures and plants, examine spectacular 360° high definition fossil images and watch specially-commissioned videos of Museum experts discussing the latest evolutionary theories.

More about the NHM Evolution app