Teeth Telling Tales: Fossils Uncover Ancient Ecosystems

by  Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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Learn about the research of Dr. Darin Croft, Paleontologist with Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Specializing in mammals that went extinct millions of years ago, Dr. Croft’s work launches this lab experience illustrating how careful measurements of fossil teeth can help scientists build a picture of entire ancient ecosystems. Using real diagnostic equipment and casts of specimens found during recent South American fieldwork, your amateur Paleobiologists will learn how ancient teeth tell tales!

Program Rating

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About This Program


Multipoint: $250.00
Multipoint Premium: $250.00
Point to Point: $200.00
Point to Point Premium: $200.00
By Request: $200.00
By Request Premium: $200.00

Discounts available for 5 or more programs booked at the same time,


We prefer 1 full hour for this program.

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Minimum participants:

No minimum!

Maximum participants:

We recommend no more than 30 students per program.

Primary Disciplines

Art, Sciences, STEM

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

Sorry, this program is not currently available. To inquire about future availability, please contact Cleveland Museum of Natural History

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For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We will not charge for programs cancelled due to events out of your control (snow, hurricane, mass extinctions, etc.).

About This Provider

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Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland, OH
United States

Our Mission Statement: To inspire, through science and education, a passion for nature, the protection of natural diversity, the fostering of health, and leadership to a sustainable future.
CMNH programs address appropriate Revised Ohio Academic Content Standards in Science and Social Studies, and the National Health Education Standards.

Education Division

Program Details


1.) Students cut out the tooth models and bottom of simulated caliper.
2.) Groups are shown a short video introducing Paleobiologist Darin Croft and his research.
3.) Students practice use of calipers and how to measure tooth casts for height & width.
4.) Groups measure their casts & fill out their worksheets.
5.) Groups are asked to use their results to match ancient mammals with possible ecosystems.


Students will:
• Practice the proper use of lab equipment, including digital calipers & museum specimens.
• Describe how studying extinct animals helps illustrate how species and ecological communities have evolved over millions of years.
• Explain how this information can help improve conservation efforts focused on saving species and ecological communities today.
• Investigate how animal populations are affected by food supply.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Please see Ohio State Standards below.

State Standards

Life Science
Grade 4 Science: Life Science-Earth’s Living History
•Fossils can be compared to one another and to present day organisms according to their
similarities and differences.
Grade 5 Science: Life Science-Interconnections within Ecosystems
•Organisms perform a variety of roles in an ecosystem.
Grade 8 Science: Life Science-Species and Reproduction
•Diversity of species occurs through gradual processes over any generations. Fossil records provide evidence that changes have occurred in number and types of species.