Author Archives: Mark Wilson

Eyes, brains and thumbs: the wonders of primate evolution (December 4-8)

During our last week we will concentrate on primate and specifically human evolution. We look closely at our own lineage not just because it is of immediate interest to us, but also so we can directly apply concepts of evolutionary … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eyes, brains and thumbs: the wonders of primate evolution (December 4-8)

Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins (continued) (November 27 – December 1)

Please review the links from last week as we continue discussing the Mammalian Radiation in the Cenozoic. Here is the Fall 2017 Final Exam description. (Test time: December 12 (Tuesday), 9:00 a.m. to noon. Test seating: Students with last names … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins (continued) (November 27 – December 1)

Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins (November 20)

We had our introduction to mammals back in the Triassic. They were ratty little critters then, but now that the non-avian dinosaurs are gone our mammals have become very serious and prolific. So many mammal groups appeared in the early … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Cenozoic Mammalian Cousins (November 20)

Catastrophe: The Cretaceous Mass Extinctions (November 13-17)

The story of the Cretaceous Mass Extinctions is amazing. The “Impact Hypothesis” was developed at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980 when I was there as a graduate student (to my great fortune, even if I had nothing to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Catastrophe: The Cretaceous Mass Extinctions (November 13-17)

Our Furry Kin and The Greening of the Earth: Evolution of Mammals and Plants (November 6-10)

We’ll start Monday with a review of your second test results, then begin our discussion of early mammals. On Wednesday we’ll be deep into the woods with the Kingdom Plantae. Mammals evolved so gradually from the reptiles that it becomes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Our Furry Kin and The Greening of the Earth: Evolution of Mammals and Plants (November 6-10)

Part II of The Evolution of Reptiles (October 30 – November 3)

This week we will continue with dinosaurs, so please see the links and prose from last week. We will then explore the development of flying vertebrates, including pterosaurs and the evolution of birds (“avian dinosaurs”). Your second test will be … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Part II of The Evolution of Reptiles (October 30 – November 3)

Jurassic Park, etc.: The Evolution of Reptiles (October 27)

Remember that there are NO classes or review sessions on October 23 and 25, so this post is an advance welcome back! First some program notes. The review session this week is on Friday, October 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in our … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jurassic Park, etc.: The Evolution of Reptiles (October 27)

Plate Tectonics (October 16-20)

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plate Tectonics (October 16-20)

The Amniotic Egg: Amphibians to Reptiles (October 2-6)

The sixth week already. It must be time to really “conquer the land” as we say too often. Please review the links for last week so you’re up to speed on the amphibians. Their descendants the reptiles are an enormously … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Amniotic Egg: Amphibians to Reptiles (October 2-6)

From Fins to Feet: Early Vertebrate Evolution (September 25-29)

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on From Fins to Feet: Early Vertebrate Evolution (September 25-29)