Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Webinar – Handing It to the Mammals: What Anatomy Reveals About Animal Adaptations

Archived Webinar

This Zoom webinar featuring Zoologist Andrea Eller aired March 31, 2021, as part of the Smithsonian Science How series. Watch a recording in the player above.


Join Andrea Eller to learn about what the shape and structure of mammal hands reveal about how an animal behaves and has adapted to its environment. Andrea also discusses how these basic skills of understanding an animal's anatomy are key to many science careers, including hers as a zoologist.

  • This video is an extension activity for the museum's "Animal Adaptations" digital school program for Grades K-2.

National Elementary School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

This video supports learning about animal adaptations in the following ways, summarized here.

Life Science

  • NGSS-3-LS1-1: Understanding how science findings are based on recognizing patterns.
  • NGSS-4-LS1-1: Understanding how animals’ internal and external structures function to support survival.

About Smithsonian Science How

Connect your students to Smithsonian science experts in this weekly series of free live, interactive webinars. Hosted by Smithsonian educators, Smithsonian Science How will connect your students to authentic science, discoveries, and collections while inviting them to participate in live polls and ask and answer questions throughout. 

Thematically aligned with NMNH Digital School Programs, the webinars serve as excellent extension activities. Each webinar aligns with core content from the Animal Adaptions, Insect Survival, or Reefs Unleashed school programs, but is an independent experience. 

Related Resources

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
K-2, 3-5
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Life Science