Extinct and Endangered

Grade Level: Grades 4 through High School
Science Content Standard: 4.2
High School Biology Enrichment Standards:
Ecology and Evolution
Language Arts Content Standards: 1.2; 1.4

Description: Although most people have been introduced to the issue of extinction as a modern problem, it is a naturally occurring process going all the way back before the dinosaurs. The causes are still not completely understood for individual animals, but extinction is known to be influenced by factors such as climatological change and alteration of habitat. This program does not stop with the past, but explores the effects of human activities on the rate of modern extinctions. Using exhibits relating to extinct and endangered animals and plants both locally and throughout North America, we will discuss how individuals can make a difference.

Photo/Image (left): The dodo (Raphus cucullatus), extinct by 1681, has become symbolic of the consequences of human activities on the causes of extinction. The Peabody’s reconstruction, based on fossil bones, and on drawings and descriptions made when the dodo still existed, shows what a living dodo may have looked like.