Author Archives: Mark Wilson

Jurassic Park, etc.: The Evolution of Reptiles (March 25-29)

This week we return to those wonderful reptiles, finally covering the dinosaurs. As you may imagine, the Web is rich in sites about these beasts. Some of these pages are excellent, some are horrible, most are tolerable (and long). The … Continue reading

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Plate Tectonics (March 4-8)

Our primary topic this week is the Theory of Plate Tectonics, with an emphasis on how the dynamic Earth has affected the evolution of life. We can start with this beautiful world map, showing continents, mountains, ridges, transform faults and … Continue reading

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The Amniotic Egg: Amphibians to Reptiles (February 25 – March 1)

I’m ignoring the fact that we’re still a day behind, alas. Please review the links for last week so you’re up to speed on the amphibians. Their descendants the reptiles are an enormously successful class, and their diversity is reflected … Continue reading

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From Fins to Feet: Early Vertebrate Evolution (February 18-22)

This week we return to the Paleozoic and examine developing marine communities, followed by a discussion of the causes of the Permian Mass Extinctions — the greatest disaster in the History of Life. Paleogeographic maps of Pangaea at the end … Continue reading

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Developing Marine Ecosystems (February 11-15)

Your first lecture examination is on Friday, February 15. For preparation, linked here is a sample test and the Fall 2018 student HOL test #1 answers. I highly recommend reading it through. The student answers are not necessarily the best, but they … Continue reading

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The First Record: The Oldest Fossils (February 4-8)

Hard to believe we’re already in the fourth week. We are a class behind because of our “too cold for school” day, but we’ll gradually catch up. With this online material I’ll pretend we’re on schedule! We will begin with … Continue reading

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The Very Beginning: Origin of the Universe, the Early Earth & Life (January 28 – February 1)

We’ll start the week finishing the biological basis of evolution, and then work into physical origins. Please review the links from last week, especially on DNA. Here’s a cool YouTube video of the “known universe” produced by the American Museum … Continue reading

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Mechanisms of Organic Change: Evolution (January 23 & 25)

Remember that Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. There will be no classes. Instead, how about attending a Justice Dialogue session or three? See you there. Lots of material this week. Note that you do not need to … Continue reading

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Antiquity of the Earth and Life (January 14-18)

Geologic time is a fascinating topic. It is so unimaginably long it has been called “deep time”. Please learn the Geologic Time Scale as soon as possible because it is the chronological language of this course. Because you certainly don’t … Continue reading

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