Burgess Shale—Rocks and the Keys to Life

The Great Courses
Show More

If you are a student or a professor:

Watch now

If you are a librarian or a professor:

Related videos

Physical Geography II: Fossils, Rocks & Time
Discover The Wonders of Our Earth and the forces and life forms that shape our world with the Physical Geography Series. People who study Earth's history use a type of calendar called the geologic time scale. It looks very different from the familiar calendar. In some ways it is more…
Columbia Glacier—Unusual Glacier Cycles
Witness the power of glaciers, which carry a continuous stream of ice and rock from the tops of mountain ranges down to the base--often to the sea, such as at Columbia Glacier in Alaska. Chart the rapid retreat of Columbia Glacier since 1980, which has been triggered by climate change.
Messenger
Part of the Series: Wonders of the Universe
In the last episode of Professor Brian Cox's epic journey across the universe, he travels from the fossils of the Burgess Shale to the sands of the oldest desert in the world to show how light holds the key to our understanding of the whole universe, including our own deepest…
Physical Geography II: Life During The Paleozoic Era
Discover The Wonders of Our Earth and the forces and life forms that shape our world with the Physical Geography Series. This program explores the Paleozoic Era from the Cambrian time - over 600 million years ago. It looks at common fossils found in the United States and investigates the…
African Rift Valley—Cracks into the Earth
Visit the African Rift Valley, a mid-ocean ridge in the making. From the Red Sea to Mount Kilimanjaro, tectonic forces are splitting Africa apart, forming a new ocean in the process. This impressive valley is also the site of many fossil discoveries relating to early humans.
Salar de Uyuni—Flattest Place on Earth
Travel to the world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Almost the size of Connecticut, Uyuni is the flattest place on the planet. When it gets a very thin layer of water, it becomes the world's largest mirror. Uyuni contains the world's largest reserve of lithium--should it be…
The Scripture of Nature
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
In 1851, word spreads across the country of a beautiful area of California's Yosemite Valley, attracting visitors who wish to exploit the land's scenery for commercial gain and those who wish to keep it pristine. Among the latter is a Scottish-born wanderer named John Muir, for whom protecting the land…
Shenandoah: The Collision of Old Continents
A hike along the Appalachian Trail is a journey back in time to a continental collision that raised mountains rivalling the Himalayas--now eroded into the Appalachians. Chart the geology of this ancient chain from Shenandoah National Park to Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.
Yellowstone’s Cataclysmic Origins and Future
Read the evidence in the rocks to discover Yellowstone's bigger story: the massive volcanic eruptions that created the region and will one day destroy it, the glaciers that shaped the terrain, and the meltwater floods that carved the impressive Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Redwoods, Sequoias, and the Sierra Nevada
Dig deeper into the geology of Yosemite, charting the role of glaciers in shaping the terrain. Also, learn the origin of California's famous gold deposits. Then study the special conditions that promote the growth of giant sequoias, and visit the national parks that preserve these towering trees for posterity.
The Colorado Rocky Mountains
Ascend the heights of the Rocky Mountains, asking how tectonic processes nearly a thousand miles away could possibly have raised this extensive range. Venture to Rocky Mountain National Park, Red Rocks, the Garden of the Gods, the Maroon Bells, and the Canadian Rockies.
The Grand Canyon’s 2-Billion-Year Staircase
Descend into the Grand Canyon, recording the full sequence of strata from top to bottom--a story that takes you from 270-million-year-old limestone formed in a shallow sea to basement rocks that record a mountain-building saga from 1.7 billion years ago.