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Great Transitions: The Origin Of Tetrapods

17 minutes 17 seconds

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Still image from Great Transitions: The Origin Of Tetrapods

Charles Darwin once boldly predicted that buried deep in the earth are transitional fossils of creatures with intermediate features between ancestral animal groups and the modern animal groups. Since Darwin’s time, many transitional fossils have been discovered, and they provide crucial insights into the origin of key structures and the creatures that possess them. And University of Chicago paleontologist and award-winning author Neil Shubin provides a first-hand account of the painstaking search for the transitional fossil of Tiktaalik, a creature with a mix of features common to fish and four-legged animals.

Media Details

Runtime: 17 minutes 17 seconds

Illustration of a four-legged animal standing in shallow water on top of a layer of rock. Caption: Many things must happen for an animal to be fossilized.
Great Transitions
Episode 1
17 minutes 17 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
A diagram showing the transition from Reptiles (dinosaurs and crocodile-like animal) to Archaeopteryx (feathered animal between a reptile and a bird), to Birds. Caption: between birds and reptiles.
Great Transitions
Episode 2
18 minutes 59 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Illustration of a primate standing on two legs. Caption: Ardi is neither a chimp nor is she a human.
Great Transitions
Episode 3
19 minutes 44 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12

Viewer Comments

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    Debra S. (Cottonwood Heights, UT)
    March 9th, 2016 at 02:42 PM

    This is a great film reviewing the fossil origin of tetrapods. Great for a biology class.