Extinction isn't just a thing of the past...

What does it mean to be extinct? What causes extinction to occur? How long does it take? Discover the tools and processes paleontologists use today to answer these and other crucial questions to reveal the history of our planet.

Rethink Extinct takes you on a journey through time, starting in the Paleozoic Era 542 million years ago, to explore the past – and the future – of life on Earth. Since the most basic of organisms began populating our planet, Earth has experienced at least five mass extinctions that have driven more than half of all life to extinction in relatively short periods of time. Investigate events that made the headlines in Earth’s history, learn why extinction is necessary for the ongoing diversity of life, and discover how human actions may be driving the next mass extinction.

The story of Rethink Extinct is told and experienced through interactive displays as well as dinosaurs, mastodons, fossils, and other specimens – both extinct or threatened by extinction – from the Museum’s collections.

Rethink Extinct also features the Museum’s Bermuda Coral Reef diorama; a treasured piece of the Museum’s history designed and built by Henri, George and Paul Marchand. The diorama was originally unveiled to Museum guests in 1933 but has not been on display to the public since the 1990s.

Support for Rethink Extinct comes from The John R. Oishei Foundation, Mary Louise Olmsted Fund in partnership with Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, First Niagara Foundation, and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Board of Managers.

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