Ecology

Homo Sapiens Versus Neanderthals

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Explore the origins of modern humans. Fossil evidence from Middle East caves and elsewhere has revealed some competitive advantages modern humans, known as Homo sapiens, are believed to have held over the more archaic human species, Neanderthals. For example, during the time in which the two species may have coexisted, Homo sapiens lived on high ground, from which they could survey the landscape and plan their hunting expeditions. Some scientists have theorized that the success of this strategy may have contributed to the demise of the valley-dwelling Neanderthals, who became extinct about 30,000 years ago. Adapted from NOVA.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Animals Making a Living

Icon: 
Streaming icon

An animal makes its living by finding food. Plant eaters have a relatively easy time of it, while meat eaters must work a little harder for their next meal. This video segment explores the wide range of food-finding strategies that exist in the animal world and identifies some of the physical and behavioral adaptations that make them effective.

Lynx and Skunk Baby Play! | Wild Kratts

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Chris and Martin meet a baby lynx and a baby skunk and watch them play outside of the food web. They get along well when young, but when the babies grow up, the friendly relationship will turn to one of predator and prey.

The Night Shift | Wild Kratts

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Come learn about termites with the Kratt brothers. Termites are active at night building up their mound. Predators are active at night, too, and soldier termites protect the workers from geckos, ants and spiders who live nearby.

Water in the Sandhills | Platte Basin Education

Icon: 
Streaming icon

The water supply in the Sandhills depends on local precipitation, which is relatively low. Yet, there are several rivers, including the Niobrara, Dismal, and Loup Rivers that originate in the Sandhills, more than 2,000 shallow lakes, and over one million acres of wetlands in the areas between the dunes. Even during periods of drought, the Sandhills maintain reliable supplies of water.

WildFIRE PIRE | NSF Research: Connections between Fire, Climate, and People

Icon: 
Streaming icon

How has fire impacted our world—past, present, and future? The WildFIRE PIRE Project is a multi-year, interdisciplinary project funded by the National Science Foundation that strives to answer this question. Researchers from around the globe converge on Tasmania, New Zealand, and the American West to investigate the effects of fire in the face of climate change. 

Citizen Science for Your Classroom: The Great Sunflower Project

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Immerse students in how they can make a difference in the pollinator crisis by practicing real world science with the Great Sunflower Project. A combination of disease, habitat loss, chemical misuse, and climate change is causing a decline in pollinators – like birds, bats, butterflies, and bees. Discover how scientists are working with volunteers across the country to identify where pollinators are doing well, and where they are not, in this video produced for American Spring LIVE.

Support materials from the Great Sunflower Project are available, including lesson plans and other materials developed in collaboration with teachers from Peralta Elementary, a small, diverse, K-5 arts demonstration school within the Oakland Unified School District. Peralta has been partnering with the Great Sunflower Project's citizen science program since 2011 to study and understand native bees. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use their observation skills to look for pollinators.

For students who are new to citizen science, see introductory activities for Grades K-5 or 6-12, included with this resource.

Otter Power! | Wild Kratts

Icon: 
Streaming icon

The Kratt brothers learn about adapting to their environment. They have a close call with a gar fish while they teach Slider the otter how to hunt. The brothers come to the creature rescue.

Salmon | Science Trek

Icon: 
Streaming icon

This video segment from IdahoPTV's Science Trek follows the life cycle of Idaho's salmon from a mountain stream to the ocean and back. These anadromous fish face some obstacles in completing this cycle. Find out how dams affect their progress.

Watershed | Episode 4: Balancing Act

Icon: 
Streaming icon

Water in the American West is a scarce resource allocated for multiple uses from urban drinking water to agriculture to habitats for endangered species. Journey east from high above the North Platte River across the region of Wyoming once called the Great American Desert, and see how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation captures and releases water to irrigate millions of acres of farmland throughout one watershed.

360 image icon360 headset image icon

Pages