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Showing 1-37 of 37 Resources
  • New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    New Laetoli Footprints and Hominin Body Size

    Data Point

    Scientists were excavating a site in Laetoli, Tanzania when they uncovered two new sets of hominin tracks located about 150 meters south of the tracks found by Mary Leakey in the 1970’s. They estimated the heights of the two individuals using the size and shape of the footprints.

  • Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Dating Corn Domestication Using Carbon Isotopes

    Data Point

    To study the change in diet as human populations changed lifestyles from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, scientists measured carbon isotopes in the collagen tissues of human skeletons from North America.

  • Animated Life: Mary Leakey

    Animated Life: Mary Leakey

    Animated Short

    (7 min 52 sec) This animated short film recounts the life and work of paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey, including her discovery of the Laetoli footprints.

  • Animated Life

    Animated Life

    Collection

    These five short films, produced in conjunction with The New York Times, bring to life five historical scientific discoveries and the people behind them: Alfred Russel Wallace and his contribution to...

  • Origin of Birds With Quiz

    Origin of Birds With Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (18 min 59 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film about the evidence that showed birds descended from dinosaurs.

  • Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken

    Comparative Anatomy of the Domestic Chicken

    Click & Learn

    Trace the evolutionary history of birds by comparing the shapes and structures of certain bones in a chicken to those of some of its extinct and living relatives. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    The Origin of Flight: What Use Is Half a Wing?

    Scientists at Work

    (8 min 16 sec) Biologist Ken Dial's study of how young birds use their developing wings sheds light on the evolution of flight in birds.

  • Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide for Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn, which tells the story of how geneticists and archaeologists have come together to determine how and where corn was domesticated nearly 9,000 years ago. Also available in Spanish.

  • Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink

    Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink

    Feature Film

    Five times in Earth’s past, the vast majority of plant and animal species have been annihilated in a geologic instant. What triggered these dramatic events, and what might they tell us about the fate of our world?

  • Human Feet Are Strange

    Human Feet Are Strange

    Activity

    In this hands-on activity students examine the evidence for the evolution of human bipedality as revealed by a trail of fossil footprints. Also available in Spanish.

  • Living Dinosaurs: Fact or Fiction?

    Living Dinosaurs: Fact or Fiction?

    Activity

    Students evaluate and discuss statements about the evolutionary relationship between birds and dinosaurs and other facts about these groups, before and after watching the short film Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Origin of Birds Film Guide

    The Origin of Birds Film Guide

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds. Featuring vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Julia Clarke, the film walks us through the evidence that birds are a lineage of theropod dinosaurs. 

  • Episode 1: Your Inner Fish

    Episode 1: Your Inner Fish

    Feature Film

    (54 min 41 sec) See how the genetic legacy of a fish can be seen today in our own DNA. PLEASE N​OTE: Due to international distribution restrictions, these programs can only be streamed in the United States and Canada.

  • Mesozoic Film with Quiz

    Mesozoic Film with Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (33 min 43 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch the short film on the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Birds

    Short Film

    (18 min 59 sec) In the second film of the Great Transitions trilogy, paleontologist Julia Clarke takes us on a journey to uncover the evidence that birds descended from dinosaurs. Also available in Spanish.

  • Anthony Barnosky and Kaitlin Maguire Measure Mammal Extinctions at the John Day Fossil Beds

    Anthony Barnosky and Kaitlin Maguire Measure Mammal Extinctions at the John Day Fossil Beds

    Scientists at Work

    (9 min 15 sec) Prehistoric extinction rates are calculated from fossil data in a paleodatabase and compared to today’s extinction rate.

  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Tetrapods

    Short Film

    (17 min 11 sec) One of the most exciting discoveries in the long history of fossil exploration is Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and four-legged animals, or tetrapods.

  • Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

    Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

    Virtual Lab

    This virtual lab teaches skills of data collection and analysis to study evolutionary processes using stickleback fish and fossil specimens.

  • The Day the Mesozoic Died

    The Day the Mesozoic Died

    Short Film

    (33 min 43 sec) The disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period posed one of the greatest, long-standing scientific mysteries. This three-act film tells the story of the extraordinary detective work that solved it. Also available in Spanish.

  • How To Find a Dinosaur

    How To Find a Dinosaur

    Scientists at Work

    (4 min 5 sec) Dr. Lyson describes dinosaur digs as well as his focus on prehistoric turtle fossils.

  • Discussion with Students on The Day The Mesozoic Died Short Film

    Discussion with Students on The Day The Mesozoic Died Short Film

    Lecture

    (42 min 27 sec) Students discuss the short film after a screening at the 2012 Holiday Lectures on Science.

  • The Deep History of a Living Planet

    The Deep History of a Living Planet

    Lecture

    (1 hr 28 min 29 sec) Microbes have been the dominant life form throughout Earth's history. Eukaryotes and animals evolved only after microbes evolved oxygen-generating photosynthesis.

  • Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future

    Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future

    Lecture

    Has Earth changed over deep time? How did Earth shape life and life shape Earth? What does Earth's climate in the distant past tell us about the future?

  • Determining the Size and Energy of the K-T Asteroid

    Determining the Size and Energy of the K-T Asteroid

    Activity

    A lesson in which students calculate the mass, size, and kinetic energy of the K-T asteroid based on the total abundance of iridium in the K-T boundary layer.

  • Article: The Day the Mesozoic Died

    Article: The Day the Mesozoic Died

    Article

    A short article by Dr. Sean B. Carroll detailing the discoveries covered in the film The Day The Mesozoic Died.

  • Film Guides: The Day the Mesozoic Died

    Film Guides: The Day the Mesozoic Died

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Day the Mesozoic Died, which tells the story of the extraordinary detective work that led to the stunning discovery that an asteroid struck Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants and even microorganisms.

  • Using the Scientific Process to Study Human Evolution

    Using the Scientific Process to Study Human Evolution

    Click & Learn

    Paleoanthropology provides an excellent example of the scientific process at work. Also available in Spanish.

  • Worksheet for The Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

    Worksheet for The Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab

    Activity

    A worksheet that guides students through The Stickleback Evolution Virtual Lab. The virtual lab lets students learn firsthand the methods for analyzing body structure in stickleback collected from lakes and fossils recovered from a quarry. Students measure, record, and graph their results to discover evolutionary patterns.

  • Hominid Paleobiology

    Hominid Paleobiology

    Lecture

    (1 hr 33 min 25 sec) The hominid fossil record of the past six million years gives us surprising insights into the path of human evolution.

  • Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Behavior

    Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Behavior

    Lecture

    (58 min 31 sec) Stone tools are well-preserved evidence of past human activity.

  • Human Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Human Evolution and the Nature of Science

    Lecture

    (29 min 1 sec) How reasoning and evidence are used to understand human evolution.

  • Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans

    Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans

    Lecture

    Where and when did humans arise? What distinguishes us from other species? Did our distant ancestors look and behave like us?

  • Stratigraphic Principles

    Stratigraphic Principles

    Clip

    (2 min 21 sec) Dr. John Shea demonstrates the two main principles in the study of rock layers: superposition and association.

  • Hardening Fragile Fossils for Extraction

    Hardening Fragile Fossils for Extraction

    Clip

    (19 sec) Due to the delicate nature of fossils, a hardening chemical is dripped onto every fossil before it is removed from the soil.

  • The Delicate Process of Excavating and Cleaning Fossils

    The Delicate Process of Excavating and Cleaning Fossils

    Clip

    (1 min 27 sec) Fossils are extremely fragile. Scientists remove them in a protective layer of plaster and clean sand away one grain at a time.

  • Floods Supply Sediments for Fossil Formation

    Floods Supply Sediments for Fossil Formation

    Clip

    (2 min 42 sec) The floor of a rift valley is prone to periodic floods that carry in fine silt--the sedimentary matter responsible for fossil formation.

  • Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads

    Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads

    Lecture

    How has the amazing diversity of plants and animals evolved? What can fossils, butterflies, and stickleback fish tell us about the deep common ancestry of all living forms?

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