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Khan Academy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 21 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments

Regional Focus


Biodiversity and Extinction, Then and Now

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  • This video discusses extinction, how we measure extinction in the fossil record, what caused the other five mass extinction events, and the current rate of extinction. 
  • The content can be applied to a number of science courses and has standards identified for AP Biology.
Teaching Tips


  • This video helps students visualize and understand speciation, extinction, causes for mass extinction events, and what might happen in our future.
  • The animations are terrific.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms species, population, natural selection, and evolution.
  • Teachers and students must sign into their Google Classroom to record the interactive quiz score.


Scientist Notes
This video resource examines the 5 known mass extinction events in Earth's history and the hypotheses on what caused those events. Some scientists now propose that Earth is facing a 6th mass extinction event caused my anthropogenic climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence that the process of evolution primarily results from four factors: (1) the potential for a species to increase in number, (2) the heritable genetic variation of individuals in a species due to mutation and sexual reproduction, (3) competition for limited resources, and (4) the proliferation of those organisms that are better able to survive and reproduce in the environment.
      • HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
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