GeoCinema Online: From evolution to extinction

Palaeontology spans many disciplines, bringing together aspects of geochemistry, sedimentology, zoology and many more to piece together the puzzles of ecosystems past. From evolution to extinction, these fantastic films take you through the science that lets us put the puzzle together – enjoy!

A Foram’s Tale

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One way reconstructing past climates is to culture living planktonic Foraminifera and analyse their shell composition under present day conditions in the world’s oceans. With these insights it is possible to create a suite of tools to analyse the Foraminifera to reconstruct climate and ocean conditions over million of years. This film takes a look at how we do this and what we’ve found out so far.

The Day the Mesozoic Died 

This film traces clues that led to the discovery of the asteroid that struck the Earth 66 million years ago, causing the extinction of many animals, plants, and microorganisms at the end of the Cretaceous. From Europe to North America, this film tells the story of how geology, physics, biology, chemistry and palaeontology combined to form a revolutionary theory. It’s a super film – watch it here!

The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies

Marine stickleback populations were stranded in freshwater lakes throughout the northern Hemisphere at the end of the last ice age. They have adapted to thrive in a freshwater environment and have undergone dramatic morphological transformations. This film documents evolution in action and how we can use key genes to peer deep into the evolutionary past – take a look.

Fancy something a little different? Why not explore some of out other GeoCinema posts: take a dive into the ocean’s depths or look to the skies for some super insight into satellite measurements and what they can tell us about the Earth. 


A Foram’s Tale: Wrigley Marine Science Center, University of Southern California (source)

The Day the Mesozoic Died: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (source)

The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies:  Howard Hughes Medical Institute (source)

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