Extinct Species Project

“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. ~Chief Seattle

A species becomes extinct when the last, living organism of that species dies. Extinction can occur as part of the natural order of life through evolution and change in the ecological conditions. Extinction occurs when a species loses out to competitors better adapted to the environment or ecosystem and is unable to move to a new environment or when a species is unable to survive or reproduce in its environment and dies off. Humans have caused the extinction of species by overharvesting, by polluting the environment, by destroying and modifying habitats, by introducing new predators into the ecosystem, by introducing non-native organisms that compete for food, by unregulated hunting, and by the spread of disease. There have been several mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history, the most famous of which was the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago.

Extinct Species Research
You will conduct a research project on an extinct species of your choice. You will follow the project guidelines provided by your teacher. First, select an extinct species. Several of the websites listed under “Extinct Animals” will provide you with a list to begin your search. As you search for your topic remember you will be required to include the following information in the first part of your report:
A) A thorough description of your animal (or plant) including what it looked like, how big it was, what colorings it had, etc.
B) Which era of earth’s history this organism lived (both in the number of years ago AND name the actual era).
C) Food your organism ate and how it got this food supply?
D) What adaptations your organism had to protect itself (camouflage, behavior, looks, etc.)
E) What enemies or predators it had
F) Include at least one picture in this section
Use our school databases to retrieve basic information on your topic, and then use the websites that follow to provide additional information. You will also use print materials which include encyclopedias, reference books, and other non-fiction books. Remember to record your sources using Modern Language Association format for your bibliography.
UC, Berkeley: Dino Buzz http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/dinobuzz.html
USGS.gov: Dinosaur Facts and Fiction http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/
BBC Science and Nature: Prehistoric Life http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/
Natural Museum of History: Dino Discovery http://www.nhm.ac.uk/jdsml/nature-online/dino-directory/
Discovery Channel: Dinosaur Guide http://dsc.discovery.com/dinosaurs/
Zoom Dinosaurs: Dinosaur Dictionary http://www.zoomdinosaurs.com/subjects/dinosaurs/
UC, Berkeley: Dinosauria.com http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/dinosaur.html
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History: Dinosaurs http://paleobiology.si.edu/dinosaurs/
"11 Animals That Are Now Extinct...And It's Our Fault" The Huffington Post
Extinct Animal List
The Animals That Went Extinct in 2016
The IUNC Red List of Threatened Species International Union for Conservation of Nature

For part two of your research project, you will research the modern-day descendants (relatives) of your animal. Please include the following information in this section of your report:
•What are the modern-day descendants (relatives) of your animal?
•How has it changed over the years? Compare how it used to be and how it used to live to the way its modern-day relatives are today and how its modern-day descendants live today.
•Include at least one picture in this section.
Use our Grzimek’s Animal Encyclopedias to find information for this section of your report as well as our on-line databases. The following weblinks may also provide you with useful information:
Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/index.html
ARKive http://www.arkive.org/
Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Encyclopedia of Life http://eol.org/
National Geographic Animals http://animals.nationalgeographic.com

7th-Grade Science Standards

3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations. As a basis for understanding this concept:
a. Students know both genetic variation and environmental factors are causes of evolution and diversity of organisms.
b. Students know the reasoning used by Charles Darwin in reaching his conclusion that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution.
c. Students know how independent lines of evidence from geology, fossils, and comparative anatomy provide the bases for the theory of evolution.
d. Students know how to construct a simple branching diagram to classify living groups of organisms by shared derived characteristics and how to expand the diagram to include fossil organisms.
e. Students know that extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient for its survival.

Information Literacy Standards

1.2 Knows Parts of a Book and Digital Resources
1.2.2 Identifies parts of a book: table of contents, publisher, page numbers, copyright date, and call number
1.2.5 Identifies online terms and their uses (e.g., home page, Web page, url, responsibility statement, search engine)
1.7 Uses Digital Resources to Access Information
1.7.3 Uses databases (e.g., cd-roms, online free and fee-based services) for school use
1.9 Uses a Developmentally Appropriate Research Process to Access Information
1.9.1 Identifies a problem or question that needs information
1.9.2 Uses presearch strategies such as brainstorming, mapping, and recalling of prior knowledge
1.9.3 Identifies and uses keywords to find specific information
1.9.4 Uses keywords and controlled vocabulary to develop search statements for use with databases, search engines, digital books, and other digital sources and formats
1.9.5 Formulates questions that define the scope of the investigation
1.9.6 Selects a topic, focuses the investigation, and gathers information in order to construct a meaningful final product
1.9.7 Uses Dewey call numbers to locate books in areas of interest or to explore topics in depth
1.9.8 Selects and reads familiar and unfamiliar material independently
1.9.9 Uses a variety of print and digital reference material (e.g., dictionary, almanac, thesaurus,atlas, encyclopedia, and periodicals) to locateinformation
1.9.10 Uses title, table of contents, chapter headings, and navigation elements to locate information in books and digital resources
1.9.11 Uses subheadings to locate information in nonfiction resources
1.9.12 Obtains information from illustrations, photographs, charts, graphs, maps, and tables
1.9.13 Uses scanning and skimming skills to locate relevant information
1.9.14 Continues to show growth in selection of sources and formats for educational andpersonal use
1.9.15 Uses cross references (see, see also) to locate relevant information
1.9.16 Identifies bibliographic references
1.9.17 Uses bibliographies in books and digital resources to access information beyond the immediatesource and school library media collection
1.9.18 Uses a variety of print and digital information resources to facilitate research
1.9.19 Uses advanced and specialized reference books and digital resources
1.9.20 Identifies and uses computer icons and program menus to search for information (e.g., locates an index, navigates a subject tree, accesses a help screen)
1.9.21 Refines search strategies for research projects
1.9.22 Selects and uses a variety of appropriate media to access information for assignments
1.9.23 Records author, title, and other citation elements systematically while accessing information sources
2.3 Selects Relevant Information during the Research Process
2.3.1 Understands that notetaking is a tool forinformation processing (e.g., remembering, comparing, analyzing, and sequencing)
2.3.2 Selects and records relevant information, organizing notes in a format appropriate to the task
2.3.3 Restates facts and details to clarify and organize ideas for notetaking standard