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Extinction - An End and a New Beginning

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This title is a part of the series History of Life Series: A Study of Evolution


Catalogue Number:  FI0018
Producer:  Film Ideas
Subject:  Science
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  United States
Copyright Year:  2013
Running Time:  45
Closed Captions:  Yes


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Mass extinctions have shaped and reshaped the landscape of life on earth throughout its history. Some animals died off because they could not adapt to a changing environment, and others were the victims of mass extinctions. Traces of earth’s first animals, ediacara biota, are found in southern Australia. They lived stationary lives on the ocean floor, but did not survive into the Cambrian period.

Trilobites flourished in the Cambrian period and survived two later mass extinctions.  A cataclysmic volcanic eruption 250 million years ago destroyed 97% of aquatic animals and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates.  Another mass extinction occurred 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period, when a huge meteorite hit earth, causing cataclysmic disaster.  However, eomaia, a tiny mammal was able to survive, leading to an evolution of mammals and eventually humans, who now dominate and destroy the earth. If this destruction continues, humans will disappear, but life on the planet will continue. Extinction is an end, but is also a beginning for new life. 


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