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.