Ancient Environmental Shifts and Evolution

Science for the Public: Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
May 03, 2021 zoom-recording by Belmont Media Center Community TV

Aly Baumgartner, Ph.D., Collections Manager of Paleontology, Sternberg Museum Natural History, Hays, Kansas.

Dr. Baumgartner describes how a warming climate some 20 million years ago led to a major environmental development: the emergence of the famous grasslands of Kenya and other areas of East Africa. The grasses and other plants introduced a better and more abundant form of nutrition for many creatures. As flora and fauna diversity thrived, so did evolution –including that of our earliest human ancestors. Dr. Baumgartner explains those changes and also how scientists use fossils to reconstruct the complex historical record of the Miocene.