Essay on Australia s First 4 Billion Years - 785 Words

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Australia's First 4 Billion Years

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Text Preview NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years

NOVA's four part videos "Australia's First 4 Billion Years" takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from host and scientist, Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. The visuals (both real and computer-generated) are beautiful, and the stories are clearly and engagingly told. The program builds an appreciation for the landscape by allowing you to fully explore the rich history of Australia.

In the first episode, Richard Smith sets up the series as an adventure in time travel. Using travel down the road as an analogy for moving backward in time, we get some feeling for the vast amounts of time between key events in Earth’s past. Arriving at the formation of the Solar System, the series begins its march forward. Australia is a great place to talk about the early Earth because hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of when the Earth was born, how life first arose, and how it transformed the planet. Experts unveil how the earliest forms of life, an odd assortment of bacterial slime, flooded the atmosphere with oxygen, sparking the biological revolution that made animal life possible. The rest of the series details the last 500 million years, over which organisms have, for the most part, become progressively more familiar.

The second episode looks at the evolution of fish—their invasion of the land and the invertebrates that beat them there, all of which took place on an Australia that bears no resemblance to the one we know. Host Richard Smith introduces Earth's forgotten pioneers: the scuttling arthropod armies that invaded the shores and the waves of green revolutionaries whose battle for the light pushed plant life across the face of a barren continent. Evolution continued underwater as well, with... Show More

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