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Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans

19 minutes 44 seconds

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Still image from Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans

Paleontologists have studied the fossil record of human evolution just like they have done for other major transitions, including the evolution of tetrapods from fish and the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. Sean Carroll and Tim White discuss the most important human fossils and how they illuminate key phases of human evolution, focusing in particular on three traits: larger brains, tool use, and bipedality.

Media Details

Runtime: 19 minutes 44 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