WEBCAST: How to Discover a New Mammal Species

Watch the archive of the webcast with Smithsonian zoologist Dr. Kris Helgen. In the show, he shares some of the new mammal discoveries he has made.


Smithsonian Science How: How to Discover a New Mammal Species

Featuring Zoologist Kristofer Helgen

Meet Dr. Kristofer Helgen, a zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Did you know that we are still finding and naming new mammals around the world? From field expeditions and museum specimens, Kris has discovered about 100 mammal species. Hear about his surprising find of the “Olinguito” in cloud forests of Ecuador. Consider how studying mammals helps us understand how the Earth is changing. Get a glimpse of the modern technologies used to describe species and their environments. Ponder how much biodiversity still awaits discovery.

Watch a recording of the April 28, 2015, show in the player above. The show aligns with national science standards.

How do you participate in the webcast program?

1. WATCH the archive in the player above

2. Get TEACHING RESOURCES for the webcast

3. Design an ASSESSMENT for your students



The Discovering Mammals Webcast package supports students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations by offering a set of resources that integrate science concepts with science practice skills.

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem
  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems
  • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations

MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

  • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems