(Originally $225, now $175 ea.)
Explore the history of life from its humble beginnings as single-celled organisms, to its great blossoming and proliferation, which took place over the course of eons. With the help of state of the art computer graphics, the world's foremost paleontologists and biologists help unravel the greatest mysteries of life.
Plants, Earth’s Quiet Rulers
Plants, the oldest form of life on earth hold many mysteries. While plants are often thought of as passive, we will see how many species have adopted aggressive strategies that have allowed for their survival. It is these "quiet rulers" of earth that are not only the foundation of the global ecology, but also the spring from which all life flows.
The Story of the Feather
Feathers play an important role in evolution. Originally providing insulation they eventually led to flight. In The Story of the Feather we chronicle how the fossil discovery of the Chinese reptilian wing, a four-winged dinosaur with primitive wings, has provided evidence that dinosaurs gradually evolved winged feathers, ultimately becoming the birds that we are familiar with today.
Life, which first inhabited the seas and then land, is an amazing story. Through investigation of ancient trailblazers such as Tiktaalik, we learn the gradual process by which lungs and legs evolved, and how the creatures of the seas eventually conquered the land. Reverse evolution, from land to sea, is also presented.
Mating – The Search for the Other Half
One of the most profound mysteries in the world, love between males and females, is explored. What was the evolutionary impetus which gave rise to love? Through an experiment involving the chlamydomonas, we recreate the fateful moment 2.5 billion years ago when genders first appeared.
Extinction – An End and a New Beginning
Mass extinctions have shaped and reshaped the landscape of life on earth throughout its history. In this program we chronicle the history of mass extinctions and their effect on evolution. We learn that these events not only destroy life, but also create the fertile ground from which life can take root again.