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  • The Most Groundbreaking Scientist You’ve Never Heard of – TED-Ed | Addison Anderson (2013)

    The Most Groundbreaking Scientist You’ve Never Heard of – TED-Ed | Addison Anderson (2013)

    Seventeenth-century Danish geologist Nicolas Steno [11 January 1638 – 5 December 1686] studied anatomical details of many species including cadavers at a young age. Steno’s contributions to geology influenced Charles Lyell, James Hutton and Charles Darwin. Here in this TED-Ed short animation Addison Anderson tells Steno’s little-known legacy. Steno was a groundbreaking scientist demonstrating the power of empiricism a scientific tradition that was started by Aristotle. Steno, in his Dissertationis prodromus of 1669 is credited with four of the defining […]

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  • Devonian Fossil Forest of Gilboa

    Devonian Fossil Forest of Gilboa

    Spectacularly preserved plant remains unearthed at the Riverside Quarry site in Gilboa, NY date from the Middle Devonian period, approximately 390 million years ago. The site of the “oldest fossil forest” was found in the 1920s. Here in this playlist you can watch six videos highlighting the findings. The videos feature two paleontologists William Stein of the Binghamtom University and Christopher Berry of Cardiff University. The Devonian period was a hugely transformational time for land plants evolving towards forest ecosystems. […]

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  • The Tiniest Fossils – Shelf Life/AMNH (2017)

    The Tiniest Fossils – Shelf Life/AMNH (2017)

    Foraminiferans or “forams” are extremely fast responding single-celled shelled organisms to climatic changes. They can be extremely small for one could easily mistake foraminifera fossils for flecks of dust. Over thousands and millions of years these tiny specimens adjusted their shapes based on Earth’s climatic fluctuations. Here in this AMNH production scientific assistant Bushra Hussaini, researcher Ellen Thomas, curator Neil Landman, and intern Shaun Mahmood show how they are preserving this invaluable collection. Forams initially were mistaken for another kind […]

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  • Collecting the World: Inside the Smithsonian – Great Big Story (2017)

    Collecting the World: Inside the Smithsonian – Great Big Story (2017)

    The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMHM) in Washington D.C. was visited by more than 7.1 million people in year 2016. The museums rich collection has over 144 million different artifacts. Only a very small fraction (less than 1 percent) of these collections are on display to the public. The bottom of the iceberg, the 99 percent of the Smithsonian’s treasures remain behind the scenes. Scientists and curators work with these objects to study and understand the world we […]

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  • Life’s Rocky Start – PBS/NOVA (2016)

    Life’s Rocky Start – PBS/NOVA (2016)

    Geology and biological evolution of life influence each other tightly. The title of the documentary “Life’s Rocky Start” reflects this relationship superbly. The six stage transformation of our planet from black, gray, blue, red, white to green is a wonderfully concise way of outlining the geological and biological evolution. More than half of the minerals now incorporated into the upper crust of our planet were produced by living organisms. The movement of continental plates has played a fundamental role in […]

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  • The Last Neanderthal – Pierangelo Pirak (2016)

    The Last Neanderthal – Pierangelo Pirak (2016)

    Neandertals form a curious part of Human heritage. Fossil and genetic evidence suggest that the two Human populations split sometime between 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. Neandertals went extinct 30,000 years ago. For decades, the general impression about the Neandertals were as brutish, primitive beings. However the more we investigate the more we learn and become intrigued about these master ice age survivors. The director Pierangelo Pirak’s documentary is a concatenation of multiple short episodes exploring issues such as what […]

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  • The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    This is the second installment from the filmmaker Matthew Killip following the “-omist/ogist” theme. Evolution of cooperation is a curious subject for biologists. The evolution of cooperation is investigated within the framework of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. How do organisms belonging to different kingdoms coordinate to live together? What are the rules of symbiosis? Lichens provide this type of study system where algae and fungi […]

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  • The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) are quite distinctive from other woodpecker species: They are communal. How did the cooperative behavior evolve? Biologists are working on answers for this curious question. Evolution of cooperative behavior is a matter of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. One of the most ubiquitous example for cooperative behavior comes from ants. Why do certain individuals altruistically give up their reproduction and help others? […]

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  • Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Starting from the middle paleolithic going back to 100 thousand years Human intellect shows strong signs of complex behavior. Cognitive capacity were in place to track seasons, animal movements and resources spatially distributed over large areas. Here you will find a concatenation of short clips compiled from scholarly resources such as the Nature Magazine, the British Museum, the Khan Academy, the Economist and the National Geographic all featuring great examples of art within the last 40,000 years. These include the […]

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  • Gene Silencing by MicroRNAs – Katharina Petsche (2015)

    Gene Silencing by MicroRNAs – Katharina Petsche (2015)

    Welcome to another post of Molecular Nature series highlighting a gene silencing mechanism known as RNA interference. The animation was produced by Katharina Petsche. The discovery was made by Craig Mello and Andrew Fire who shared 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Please keep in mind that this video is quite advanced in content and assumes the viewers know about basic molecular biological concepts such as the Central Dogma of Biology. RNA interference (RNAi) is a process used by […]

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  • Development of a Salamander Embryo – Yale University Department of Anatomy (1920s)

    Development of a Salamander Embryo – Yale University Department of Anatomy (1920s)

    Everyone of us started life from one single cell formed by the fusion of an egg and a sperm. That single cell gave rise to every structure in our bodies. How did that happen? Salamanders are known to be able to regenerate limbs while frogs and lizards cannot. How and why? The time lapsed footage of salamander embryos developing from single fertilized eggs forms the basis of our morphological understanding of animal development. The footage recorded by Yale University researchers […]

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  • Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo of the Australia – Adam Geiger (2013)

    Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) appears in the archaeological record of Australia at 4230 years before present. They ruled the continent as apex predators together with the now extinct Tasmanian tiger within the last few thousand years. Dingoes successfully colonized the continent spreading into diverse habitats including tropical rainforests, temperate Eucalyptus forests, mountainous highlands and grasslands. The only exception is the dry inhospitable central deserts. Dog domestication is the earliest among other animals going back to 40,000 years ago. The Dingo […]

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  • Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    The “Plants are Cool Too!” series is supported by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) and hosted by Dr. Chris Martine. Here you will find all episodes of the series in reverse chronological order (last-in-first-out). In this next episode, we go to strip Philadelphia where its mountains have been strip mined for coal relentlessly for more than 200 years. Surface mines created vast areas of degraded lands. Coal has been a massive contributor to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in […]

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  • Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Recorded at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA on July 18th 2017. Here you can see a parasitoid Ichneumon wasp (Labena grallator) searching for a prey living inside a dead branch. She uses her antennae to locate the prey and sets out to drill with her ovipositor straight into the wood. She does a few exploratory oviposition exercise before committing to a full injection. At multiple instances the wasp is chased away by ants. Indeed, in the last […]

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  • The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    In the James Bond movie Spectre there’s a reference to the cuckoo bird in two scenes. The evil villain Spectre leers: “I see you! Cuckoo!” when he detects Bond in the classic evil assembly room scene. In the other scene towards the end of the movie Spectre reveals why he considers Bond as a cuckoo. In order to understand the reference we must know the biology of the Common cuckoo bird (Cuculus canorus). The European common cuckoo is a well […]

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