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Classroom Resources: Shrink to Fit

Shrink to Fit
By David Malakoff


Spring 2011 / Vol. 12 No. 1

Read the article


Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways does large body size put a species at risk of extinction?
  2. How did the spread of humans place both direct and indirect ecological pressure on megafauna species?
  3. What might the ecological consequences of megafauna extinction be?  What is meant by the term “dead species walking,” and what are the ecological and conservation policy implications of such species?
  4. How might future climate change influence the patterns described in this article?
  5. What choices do conservationists have for addressing the causes and consequences of megafauna shrinkage and extinction?

Websites for Further Information

Hunting and Fishing in the News

  • Under attack, Japan will recall whaling fleet (New York Times, February 17, 2011):
  • U.N. rejects export ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna (New York Times, March 18, 2010):
  • Ivory for sale, legally (and controversially) (New York Times, October 28, 2008, 2010):

Key Concepts

  • Evolution
  • Extinction
  • Body size
  • Megafauna
  • Overkill
  • Hunting
  • Global warming
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