Offered occasionally in the spring semester, 4 credits
This course highlights major transitions in the history of life on earth, in the multitude of forms that have inhabited the planet, and in the context of the geological history and 4.6 billion years of time. We delve into the framework of evolutionary history and the nature of the fossil record to understand the data at hand, and investigate topics ranging from extremophilic bacteria, to the origin of flight, limblessness, and the return to water, to the evolution of humans and our ancestors.
Major Topics of Study Include:
The origin of the earth and life (and how they are related)
Evolutionary history of life
The fossil record and its implications for our understanding of evolution