First Steps

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Last Human Standing 
Episode 3 of NOVA: Becoming Human
In "Last Human Standing," the final program of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA examines the fate of the Neanderthals, our European cousins who died out as modern humans spread from Africa into Europe during the Ice Age. Did modern humans interbreed with Neanderthals or exterminate them? The program explores…
NOVA: Becoming Human - Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors
PBS
Nothing is more fascinating to us than, well, us. Where did we come from? What makes us human? An explosion of recent discoveries sheds light on these questions, and NOVA's comprehensive, three-part special, "Becoming Human," examines what the latest scientific research reveals about our hominid relatives--putting together the pieces of…
Dawn of Humanity
Part of the Series: NOVA
NOVA and National Geographic present exclusive access to a unique discovery of ancient remains. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to wriggle down a vertical, pitch-dark, seven-inch-wide passage. Most fossil discoveries of human…
Birth of Humanity
Episode 2 of NOVA: Becoming Human
In "Birth of Humanity," the second part of the three-part series "Becoming Human," NOVA investigates the first skeleton that really looks like us-"Turkana Boy"-an astonishingly complete specimen of Homo erectus found by the famous Leakey team in Kenya. These early humans are thought to have developed key innovations that helped…
Prehistoric Autopsy - Homo Erectus
BBC
Human evolution is not a straight line and prehistory is littered with hominids that never made it. Putting flesh and skin back onto ancient bones, this original series recreates every inch of three of our earliest ancestors. From fragments of bones to a recognisable face, prepare to meet some remarkable…
Prehistoric Autopsy - Neanderthal
BBC
Human evolution is not a straight line and prehistory is littered with hominids that never made it. Putting flesh and skin back onto ancient bones, this original series recreates every inch of three of our earliest ancestors. From fragments of bones to a recognisable face, prepare to meet some remarkable…
Food for Thought
Part of the Series: The Life of Mammals
Human beings appear to be unique amongst mammals - we live in huge cities, we walk on two legs and we have language. But how far have we really come from our mammal heritage? Are we really as different as we think from other mammals? To answer these questions we…
On Atheists and Bonobos - With Professor Frans de Waal of Emory University
The key to understanding fundamental questions about morality, says primatologist Frans de Waal, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, lies with our closest ancestors: the great apes. In the nearly 40…
Bigger Than T.rex
Part of the Series: NOVA
Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to roam the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving…
Remarkable Plants: The Volvocales and Chlorococcales
The Volvocales and Chlorococcales share a common ancestry from a cell type exemplified by Chlamydomonas. Using live cells, this video shows how simple evolutionary trends working on Chlamydomonad ancestors have generated diversity and complexity. In Volvocalean evolution, unicellular ancestors became multicellular (e.g., Volvox) by daughter cells adhering after division. Concurrently,…
The Kingdom Protista: The Dazzling World of Living Cells
For convenience, biologists divide living organisms into five "Kingdoms": the Monerans (bacteria and cyanobacteria), Protists, Fungi, Plants, and Animals. The Kingdom Protista includes a vast array of tiny eukaryotic cells that lead complex and extraordinary lives far from the eyes of most humans; a dedication to microscopy is vital to…