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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Major Transitions in Evolution for describing
how life as it evolved went through many major extinctions which
brought new adaptations, new species, to dominate the planet.

Major Transitions in Evolution
Lectures by Professor Anthony Martin
and Professor John Hawks

Major Transitions in Evolution (2010) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
Major Transitions in Evolution at TheGreatCourses.com

Evolution is the most remarkable force in the history of Earth, the organizing principle throughout the biological sciences, and the most important mechanism scientists use to understand the varieties of life on our planet. How and when did life on Earth get to be the way it is today?

Imagine a world without bees, butterflies, and flowering plants. That was Earth 125 million years ago.

Turn back the clock 400 million years, and there were no trees.

At 450 million years in the past, even the earliest insects had not yet developed.

And looking back 500 million years - a half-billion years before the present - the land was devoid of life, which at that time flourished in a profusion of strange forms in the oceans.

These and other major turning points are the amazing story of evolution. To learn about these major transitions, each of which brought forth new possibilities for life, is to embark on an unforgettable look into the past. It's also a captivating opportunity to get a deeper understanding of how evolution works, to draw intricate connections between living things, and to think about life - not just yours but the lives of everything around you - in new ways.

Major Transitions in Evolution tells this science-detective story in 24 lavishly illustrated lectures that focus on the giant leaps that gave rise to nature's boundless diversity. In a course of breathtaking scope, you study the conditions that led to the first complex cells, flying insects, flowering plants, mammals, modern humans, and many other breakthroughs. And in the process of studying the past, you gain a powerful understanding of the present world.

Given the broad scope of the subject, this course is taught by two professors: Anthony Martin, a paleontologist and geologist at Emory University, and John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each is an outstanding teacher in his field, adept at making the subject interesting and accessible no matter what your background in science. And in the final lecture, the two appear together for an absorbing conversation on common themes in the epic saga of life on Earth.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Macroevolution and Major Transitions 13: Marine and Flying Reptiles
2: Paleontology and Geologic Time 14: Birds - The Dinosaurs among Us
3: Single-Celled Life - Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes 15: The First Flowers and Pollinator Coevolution
4: Metazoans - The Earliest Multicellular Animals 16: Egg to Placenta - Early Mammal Evolution
5: The Development of Skeletons 17: From Land to Sea - The Evolution of Whales
6: The Rise of Vertebrates 18: Moving on Up - The First Primates
7: Colonization of the Land 19: Apes - Swinging Down from the Trees
8: Origins of Insects and of Powered Flight 20: From 4 Legs to 2 - The Hominin Radiation
9: Seed Plants and the First Forests 21: First Humans-Toolmakers & Hunter-Gatherers
10: From Fish to 4-Limbed Animals 22: From Homo to sapiens - Talking and Thinking
11: The Egg Came First - Early Reptile Evolution 23: Our Accelerating Evolution
12: The Origins and Successes of the Dinosaurs 24: Reflections on Major Transitions

 

10-12-16 Chicxulub 'dinosaur crater' investigation begins in earnest
Chicxulub 'dinosaur crater' investigation begins in earnest
Scientists have obtained remarkable new insights into the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. They have been examining rocks from the crater that the 15km-wide space object dug out of what is now the Gulf of Mexico some 66 million years ago. The team says it can see evidence in these materials for how life returned to the scene soon after the calamity. Descendants of these small organisms are likely thriving today in amongst the crater's smashed up materials. The international project has shipped the hundreds of metres it drilled from beneath the Gulf floor earlier this year to the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, at the University of Bremen, Germany.


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Major Transitions in Evolution
Lectures by Professor Anthony Martin
and Professor John Hawks

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Major Transitions in Evolution for describing
how life as it evolved went through many major extinctions which
brought new adaptations, new species, to dominate the planet.