Once Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

June 15, 2018 at 9:26 AM

Once dinosaurs roamed the earth, woolly mammoths co-existed with early mankind, giant moas strode across New Zealand, the dodo inhabited Mauritius, the western black rhino crossed sub-Saharan Africa, the Steller’s sea cow swam the Northern Pacific and Pinta Island tortoises made their own slow way in the Galapagos. 

They are all extinct. 

With the exception of the dinosaurs, human beings had a hand in their demise. 

Whether killed for food, killed for a trophy or killed because their habitat has been cleared or made otherwise inhabitable, many other animals the world over are facing an equally uncertain future as they make the list of ‘endangered species.’ 

Yesterday, our Year 3 boys from the Boys’ School made their way to the Auckland War Memorial Museum with three ‘big questions’ at hand: 

  • What impact have humans had on endangered animals?
  • How has the change in the environment affected animals?
  • What can we do in the future to help protect the world? 

Having learnt the true meaning of extinction, the visit was in support of their classrooms studies about the issue of endangered animals and what mankind can do to protect their future - and, indeed, the planet. 

With a questionnaire to fill in, the boys set off in groups to make the most of the vast array of detailed information available to them. Parents were on hand to supervise, help answer their questions and guide them in their research. 

From mammoths and dinosaur bones, to endangered orangutans and whales, the plight of animals was laid bare. The boys went on to look particularly closely at the unique nature of New Zealand fauna, in particular the demise of the moa and the danger that faces our flightless New Zealand icon, the kiwi, and ground nesting albatross. 

No visit to the museum by small boys would be complete without time spent in the discovery centre with drawers to open and jars to inspect, but this also gave them a final opportunity to further engage with the notion of extinct and endangered animals. 

Boys of this age are our future. The future of the world may one day fall on them, and understanding the place of animals in our ecosystem and the impact that we as humans have on their future is a valuable learning opportunity. 

Our sincere thanks to the many parents who took the time this morning to assist with this trip. We truly appreciate your support.


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