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‘Rethink Extinct’ opens at Buffalo Museum of Science

“Rethink Extinct,” the sixth new permanent exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science, will open Saturday.

The interactive studio space is dedicated to exploring the history and causes of extinction.

“Extinction is commonly perceived to be just a thing of the past,” Mark Mortenson, president and CEO of the museum, said in a news release. “This new permanent exhibit will not only educate our guests on the scientific processes and tools paleontologists use to investigate our planet’s history, but that significant species extinction is happening today.”

“Rethink Extinct” will take guests on a journey through time, starting in the Paleozoic Era, 542 million years ago, to the future of life on Earth. Ever since the most basic of organisms began populating our planet, Earth has experienced at least five mass extinctions that have driven more than half of all life to extinction in relatively short periods of time.

Museum guests can investigate events that made the headlines in Earth’s history, learn why extinction is necessary for the ongoing diversity of life, and discover how human actions may be a catalyst for the next mass extinction.

“Deforestation, global warming, poaching, pollution … human impact is becoming a larger threat to plant and animal species around the world,” Mortenson said. “We hope to educate our guests on how extinction is not just a natural occurrence and that we can help prevent future extinctions by making small lifestyle changes.”

“Rethink Extinct” also features the restoration of the museum’s treasured Bermuda Coral Reef diorama, designed and built by Henri, George and Paul Marchand and originally unveiled to museum guests in 1933. It has not been on public display since the 1990s.

The exhibit was made possible with support from the John R. Oishei Foundation, Mary Louise Olmsted Fund in partnership with Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, First Niagara Foundation and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Board of Managers.

See it as part of general museum admission: $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $8 children 2 to 17 and free for museum members and children under 2. The museum is at 1020 Humboldt Parkway along the Kensington Expressway.