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Sea Monsters Education

Learn About Prehistoric Marine Reptiles

Illustration courtesy Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

The film Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure journeys 80 million years back in time to an age when mighty dinosaurs dominated the land—and an astonishing assortment of ferocious creatures swam, hunted, and fought for survival beneath the vast, mysterious prehistoric seas. 

Get activities and multimedia to help your students understand prehistoric marine reptiles and the scientists who study them.


Unpack the Evidence

Students practice scientific thinking to understand evidence and inference.

Toothpick Tylosaurus

Students use toothpicks to make a skeleton model of a sea reptile that lived more than 65 million years ago.

Fossil Impressions

Students make molds and casts of objects to make their own fossils.

Sea Creature Trading Cards

Students create sea creature trading cards and trade them with their classmates.

How Scientists Name Things

Students learn how scientists use one of three ways to name a living thing. Students practice by inventing new names for prehistoric sea creatures.

Prehistoric Animal Adaptations

Students investigate adaptations—changes in body parts or behaviors—
that helped prehistoric marine reptiles survive in the Cretaceous period.

Sediment Fossil Surprise

Students analyze illustrations to understand how a fossil forms. Then they make a model of fossils found in sediment layers and eat it.

Habitat Needs

Students brainstorm examples of familiar animals and their needs. They learn that a habitat satisfies the basic needs that must be met for an animal to survive.

Cretaceous Clues

Students learn how fossils provide important clues to past life.

Meet a Paleontologist

Students discuss the work of paleontologists. Then they read excerpts from an interview with paleontologist Paul Sereno, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, who discovered SuperCroc in sub-Saharan Africa.


The Prehistoric World

Nat Geo Wild

Find facts, media, and features about prehistoric animals from Nat Geo Wild.

National Geographic Science

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.

Watch the Movie

Sea Monsters

See a trailer for the film Ann Hornday of The Washington Post calls "'Finding Nemo' with a 'Wow!' factor of about 100."

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure

This film explores an ancient and mysterious ocean world from 82 million years ago, containing some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time.


Choose a fossil find, start a virtual dig, and discover your own piece of the prehistoric past. Or explore the age of sea monsters by traveling through prehistoric periods millions of years ago.

Image Galleries

Find rich National Geographic image galleries of prehistoric sea monsters.