Ohio History Center Exhibit Traces Extinction Of State’s Species

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The last female passenger pigeon, part of the Going, Going, Gone? exhibit(Photo: Ohio History Connection)
The last female passenger pigeon, part of the Going, Going, Gone? exhibit(Photo: Ohio History Connection)

A new exhibit at Columbus’ Ohio History Center traces the state’s extinct species and looks at modern-day threats to other animals and plants. Going, Going, Gone? is not only an exhibition but also a call to action.

Enter the exhibit and you see the hands of a clock racing around the dial. Time, says curator David Dyer, is running out for all sorts of plants and animals. And they’re going extinct at an accelerated rate today.

“It just shows you how things are speeding up and that’s why we have the speeding clock when you first go into the exhibit,” Dyer says.

Going, Going, Gone? documents ancient losses using fossils and other items, then moves to modern times with all sorts of preserved animal species. That includes “Buttons,” the last known female passenger pigeon; shot and killed by an Ohio farm boy in 1900. Many of the animals on display are taken from the center’s collection of more than 29,000 catalogued specimens.

“A lot of people aren’t aware that the Ohio History Connection has a large collection of natural history objects. And natural history if kind of the backbone of all the historic stories that are in this state,” Dyer says.

The exhibit also explains ways visitors can slow species extinction.

“We’ve got a whole section on things you can do to help protect these species,” Dyer says.

The exhibit runs through January 4th.

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