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Showing 81 posts tagged history

Watch young David Attenborough try to piece together a massive broken egg shell (given to him by locals) in this 1961 clip from Zoo Quest to Madagascar: The Elephant Bird Egg.

The Elephant Bird was a large, ostrich or emu-like, flightless bird that lived on the island of Madagascar until its extinction, likely in the 17th or 18th century. How tall was it? From Wikipedia

Aepyornis, believed to have been more than 3 m (10 ft) tall and weighing close to 400 kg (880 lb), was at the time the world’s largest bird. Remains of Aepyornis adults and eggs have been found; in some cases the eggs have a circumference of more than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) and a length up to 34 cm (13 in). The egg volume is about 160 times greater than that of a chicken egg.

Below, Sir David visits the Elephant Bird’s skeleton in a museum in the capital city of Antananarivo:

In the archives, Madagascar’s Giraffe Weevilweaver birds weaving and dancing Clark’s Grebes.

The question “Who was the first human?” was a very popular one in our house just last year, but the evolution videos we had in the archives – even the awesome Five Fingers of Evolution TED Ed video – didn’t answer it directly enough for my kids. This visual-filled video timeline from Joe Hanson of It’s Okay to Be Smart does: There was no first human.

You can never pinpoint the exact moment that a species came to be, because it never did. Just like how you used to be a baby and now you’re older, but there was no single day when you went to bed young and woke up old…

There was no first human. It sounds like a paradox, it sounds like it breaks the whole theory of evolution, but it’s really a key to truly understanding how evolution works. 

Also, your grandparents (a hundred eight-five million generations removed) were fish!

In the archives, more videos about evolution, Neil deGrasse Tyson explains evolution, and a related must-watch video about our human history: Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar from the original Cosmos.

From jtotheizzoe.