The Smithsonian in Washington DC holds some 40 millions fossils in its vast collection – but only a tiny fraction are ever on display.
Now it is among the museums that have set out to digitally record the specimens, so the information is available online.
Scientists say this could finally bring to light treasures that have been hidden in drawers for centuries.
The BBC’s Victoria Gill reports.
Museums including Washington’s Smithsonian have set out to digitally record specimens in their collection.