Biodiversity

Island Biodiversity: Tracking Human Influences | Smithsonian Science How

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Analyze archaeological evidence of human life on islands and coasts. Meet Dr. Torben Rick, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Look back over thousands of years of influence of humans on the California Channel Islands and the Chesapeake Bay. See how changing environmental conditions interacted with human lifestyles to shape the biodiversity of the islands. Follow Torrey as he uses radiocarbon-dating of bones and DNA analysis to tackle elusive questions such as how foxes arrived in the Channel Islands. Find out how archaeological information helps manage island ecosystems today.

How to Discover a New Mammal Species | Smithsonian Science How

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Discover how we are still finding and naming new mammals around the world. Meet Dr. Kristofer Helgen, formerly a zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History. From field expeditions and museum specimens, Kris has discovered over 100 mammal species. Hear about his surprising find of the “Olinguito” in cloud forests of Ecuador. Consider how studying mammals helps us understand how the Earth is changing. Ponder how much biodiversity still awaits discovery.

Lamprey in the Stream | Ireland's Wild Coast

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Irish rivers are home to an ancient species called the Sea Lamprey. They are born in rivers, migrate to the ocean and return to rivers again to spawn—a unique split between fresh and saltwater habitats. The Sea Lamprey has been living for 300 million years, which means it predates dinosaurs. The Sea Lamprey looks alien—like a creature from another time—but it occupies an important niche in Ireland's ecosystem.

Yellowstone National Park | San Diego Zoo Kids

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Observe different species coexisting in Yellowstone National Park thanks to an abundance of fresh water and a thriving ecosystem.

Urban Habitat: Biodiversity in Our Cities: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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In this video, designed to accompany the Habitats and Pollinators Garden Activity Guide, students learn that a garden is a mini-urban ecosystem that can support the health of the entire urban environment.

The Ruin and Rise of Monterey Bay | It's Okay to Be Smart

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Before people came to Monterey Bay to watch fish, they came here to catch them. And they caught a LOT of one fish: the sardine. But when you empty one species out of the ocean, bad things can happen. Learn how one Monterey Bay scientist, with the help of his friend John Steinbeck, changed how we view our relationship with nature and helped give birth to the field of ecology.

Ecosystem Change: Plotting with Plant Collections | Smithsonian Science How

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Take a journey to see how plant collections can be used to map ecosystem changes over time. Meet Rusty Russell, Botany Collections Manager at the National Museum of Natural History. Rusty manages collections activities in the U.S. National Herbarium, a research collection that contains more than 5 million pressed, dried plant specimens. Visit a part of Southern California that experienced a dramatic shift in plant species composition during the 20th century. See how students and other volunteers can be instrumental in collecting data to tell the story of ecosystem change.

Measuring Biodiversity: Life in One Cubic Foot | Smithsonian Science How

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Sample the diversity of life on coral reefs in Moorea and Indonesia. Meet Dr. Christopher Meyer, a marine biologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Consider why you would want to catalog all the species in an ecosystem and what it tells you about that ecosystem's resilience to change. Contemplate the importance of monitoring biodiversity in global ecosystems. See how techniques used by Chris can be used by students to measure biodiversity in their own neighborhoods.

Tropical Rainforest Diversity

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Learn how scientists measure biodiversity and why rainforests are important examples of it in Tropical Rainforest Diversity. Trek through a tropical rainforest and explore the incredible diversity of species that call it home. In addition to showcasing live footage from a unique ecosystem, each of the three videos in the Exploring Ecosystems series features an opportunity for students to actively participate in a problem-solving scenario based on an ongoing research project of an Academy scientist.

Paws for a Minute: Red Panda

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This original, one-minute video produced by Rhode Island PBS in association with Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI, profiles the red panda. Featured information includes where red pandas live in the wild, features of their habitat, description of how specific physical features and feeding behaviors help the animal survive.

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