By: Eric Stephens, current Macalester student in (GEOL 101) Dinosaurs 

By: Edda Veelik, current Macalester student in (GEOL 165) History/Evolution of Earth

I decided to make a stop motion video featuring 4,560 frames, one frame for every one million years. The video has five scenes: the Achaean, the Proterozoic, and the Phanerozoic is split into the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic, and the Cenozoic. The Archean is the longest scene, ending at 2,100 frames. The appearance of Zircon happens on frame 200, when the first house appears. The rest of the rocks follow at frame 560, with the appearance of neighboring houses. Bacterial fossils are on frame 1,060 by the appearance of flowers on the hills. Then the Proterozoic begins. I decided to split the theme into two parts, Pong and Pac Man because the Archean almost drove me insane. The transition between the two happens at frame 2,560. The Cambrian explosion would happen around the boundary between the Proterozoic and the Paleozoic, at frame 4,020. The actual transition is at frame 4,058, when the Paleozoic would have begun. Plants appear as seaweed at frame 4,140. Amphibians appear as gummy octopuses at frame 4,190 (I realize that octopuses aren’t amphibians.) The dinosaurs would appear at frame 4,325, which is around the time the fishing boat sails in. The Mesozoic begins at frame 4,350. The frame the dinosaur “tea-rex” is removed from the cup is when the dinosaurs go extinct, at frame 4,495. The appearance of horses is at frame 4,502, around the time the cup is removed from the screen. The Cenozoic begins at frame 4,535. Hominids appear when my Eren action figure kicks Loki at frame 4,556. Neanderthals, World War II, and my birth are on the final frame. 

This project ended up taking two weeks; including the time and data I lost. I spent about three days making the Archean, three days on the Proterozoic, and two days on the Phanerozoic. Editing took a day. The Archean is by far the longest and most uneventful. Had I been more proactive I may have done things like Snowball Earth to make it more eventful but I didn’t. The Proterozoic is retro video game themed. Things are starting to happen, life is beginning to appear. I was on a Studio Ghibli marathon and Totoro makes an appearance in the Archean and the theme of the Paleozoic was Ponyo. I found it fitting because in the story of Ponyo, the villain, Fujimoto, wants to turn modern day earth back into a Cambrian sea. The music of the Paleozoic takes place when Fujimoto schemes with Cambrian sea monsters. I used my tea-rex in the Mesozoic because that’s the only dinosaur thing I own, and I really enjoy the pun. The Cenozoic goes by really fast. My little Eren action figure saves a matryoshka doll from Loki. I didn’t have the space to do specific events, but I did try to have Eren kick Loki when the hominids appear.