Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Forgotten Elephants of Deep Time

Archived Webcast

The webcasts with Paleontologist Advait Jukar aired Dec. 12, 2019, as part of the Smithsonian Science How series. Watch a recording in the player above or by using the link below.


Did you know that there were many different species of elephants millions of years ago? Go back in time with Paleontologist Advait Jukar to learn about the different kinds of elephants from the past, see real fossils, and understand how various factors — such as body size, tooth shape, and habitat — each played a role in the evolution of the elephant.

Video - Meet the Scientist: Paleontologist Advait Jukar

Teaching Resources

Use these resources to support pre/post activities:

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Life Science

3rd Grade

  • 3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
  • 3-LS3-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have traits inherited from parents and variation of these traits exists in a group of similar organisms.
  • 3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment
  • 3-LS4-1 Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

4th Grade

  • 4-LS1-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

5th Grade

  • 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Grades 6-8

  • MS-LS4-1 Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2 Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.

Earth Science

4th Grade

  • 4-ESS1-1 Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

Grades 6-8

  • MS-ESS1-4 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-old history.
Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Earth Science, Life Science, Paleontology