Science and Nature

Eons

Join hosts Michelle Barboza-Ramirez, Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino as they take you on a journey through the history of life on Earth. From the dawn of life in the Archaean Eon through the Mesozoic Era — the so-called “Age of Dinosaurs” -- right up to the end of the most recent Ice Age.

How Ancient Microbes Rode Bug Bits Out to Sea

8m 42s

Between 535 and 520 million years ago, a new kind of biological litter began collecting in the ancient oceans of the Cambrian period. Exoskeletons helped early arthropods expand in huge numbers throughout the world’s oceans. And tiny exoskeleton fragments may have allowed some of the most important microbes in the planet’s history to set sail out into the open ocean and change the world forever.

Episodes

  • How Ancient Microbes Rode Bug Bits Out to Sea: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Ancient Microbes Rode Bug Bits Out to Sea

    S6 E11 - 8m 42s

    Between 535 and 520 million years ago, a new kind of biological litter began collecting in the ancient oceans of the Cambrian period. Exoskeletons helped early arthropods expand in huge numbers throughout the world’s oceans. And tiny exoskeleton fragments may have allowed some of the most important microbes in the planet’s history to set sail out into the open ocean and change the world forever.

  • Why Only Earth Has Fire: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why Only Earth Has Fire

    S6 E10 - 10m 45s

    Earth isn’t the only watery planet in the known universe, but it is the only fiery planet. The sun is mostly hydrogen undergoing nuclear fusion, not fire. And on other planets magma from volcanoes and lightning are also not fire. To get fire, it took billions of years of photosynthesis, which means fire can’t exist without life. And fire and life have been shaping each other ever since.

  • Beans & Bees (Not Bats) Gave Us Butterflies: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Beans & Bees (Not Bats) Gave Us Butterflies

    S6 E9 - 7m 9s

    For a few years we thought bats were to thank for the existence of butterflies. The idea was that the evolution of bats drove one group of moths to abandon the night entirely, becoming active during the day to escape, giving rise to butterflies. But it turns out the groups we should actually be thanking for the beautiful bugs are bees and beans.

  • The Huge Extinctions We Are Just Now Discovering: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Huge Extinctions We Are Just Now Discovering

    S6 E8 - 8m 58s

    What graptolites tell us is a story of incredible changes in the ocean, of periods where the oceans became poisonous and suffocating before eventually clearing up again. They unlock extinctions and recoveries that scientists didn't see. And, most of all, they show us how unpredictable the Silurian period really could be.

  • When Did We Stop Being Naked?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    When Did We Stop Being Naked?

    S6 E7 - 9m 5s

    Of course, the ancient Egyptians were probably not the first people to ever wear clothing, but we haven’t found any clothes older than the Tarkhan Dress. So how can we figure out when we first started wearing clothes? Well, it turns out that some of our best evidence for clothing in the past comes from a pretty unlikely - and kinda gross - place.

  • Do Thunderbeasts Prove Giant Animals Are Inevitable?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Do Thunderbeasts Prove Giant Animals Are Inevitable?

    S6 E6 - 7m 50s

    The journey the thunder beasts took to reach such mega proportions from such humble beginnings forces us to ask an important question, one that paleontologists have been asking for more than a century: from an evolutionary perspective, is bigger always better?

  • You're Living On An Ant Planet: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    You're Living On An Ant Planet

    S6 E5 - 9m 14s

    How did ants take over the world? Well, it looks like they didn’t achieve world domination all by themselves. They may have just been riding the wave of a totally different evolutionary explosion.

  • That Time The Ocean Lost (Almost) All Its Oxygen: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    That Time The Ocean Lost (Almost) All Its Oxygen

    S6 E4 - 9m 31s

    This is the story of how our planet rescued itself from extreme conditions in the Cretaceous Period, at the cost of essentially suffocating the oceans for half-a-million years.

  • Did a Tsunami Swallow Part of Europe?: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Did a Tsunami Swallow Part of Europe?

    S6 E3 - 8m 3s

    What happened to the piece of prime prehistoric real estate known as Doggerland? While a massive megatsunami might have drowned it for good, the underlying reason that it now lies under the sea may have actually been the same thing that made it so great in the first place.

  • We Helped Make Mosquitoes A Problem: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    We Helped Make Mosquitoes A Problem

    S6 E2 - 8m 10s

    Around 6,000 years ago, in the Sahel region of Africa, a lone female mosquito buzzed through the lush, green savannah. She couldn’t know it, but the planet itself was about to change in ways that would see her descendants evolve to live very different lives. A sudden ecological shift would force them to go from living in forests and feeding on a range of animals to specializing on just one single

  • Why The Giraffe Got Its Neck: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why The Giraffe Got Its Neck

    S6 E1 - 9m 1s

    How and why the giraffe's neck emerged in the first place has been a mystery that generations of biologists have argued over – one that has made us reconsider our understanding of how evolution actually works over and over again.

Extras + Features

  • A Quick Introduction to Eons: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Quick Introduction to Eons

    S1 - 1m 28s

    Join hosts Hank Green, Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino as they take you on a journey through the history of life on Earth. From the dawn of life in the Archaean Eon through the Mesozoic Era — the so-called “Age of Dinosaurs” -- right up to the end of the most recent Ice Age. The evolutionary history of mammals including humans and other modern species is explored with these amazing paleontology

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