EvoLiteracy – Biology and Science Videos

The videos and animations below (180+) follow the chronological order of biology and science topics discussed in my courses for college Biology Majors (each video-/animation-link is connected to additional resources, including weblinks to visuals and/or relevant platforms). I have compiled this information with my BioHonors students, I thank them much for their commitment, support and enthusiasm. Note that, with time, some of the links below might change, I will try to update them as much as possible, but if visitors have observations, suggestions or think that alternative or additional links should be included here, please provide that information in the “comments” section at the end of this page — GPC.

SCIENCE IS REAL Why is science a better alternative to no science, or to opinion-based attempts to explain a phenomenon? Click on Science is Real.

Origin of the Universe

In this video, diverse scientists explain the Big Bang Theory about the origin of the universe. They describe the events that followed the Big Bang and how the universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago. Click on Is There a Multiverse?

Finding the Origin of Life

This video discusses the origin of life, the emergence of chemical processes in a young Earth where oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen became the building blocks of macro-molecules, and thus of complex proteins, essential to life. Click on Finding Life’s Origin.

Epoch 5- Chemical (Origins of Life)

This animation describes a possible scenario of how the origin of life on Earth may have come about. The building blocks of life apparently emerged in the deep heat vents of the ocean; this hypothesis has gained support in recent years. Click on Epoch 5.

DNA Building Blocks Can Be Made in Space

NASA-funded researchers have evidence that some building blocks of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, found in meteorites were likely created in space. The research gives support to the theory that a “kit” of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by meteorite and comet impacts assisted the origin of life.
Water and Life. Click on NASA’s DNA building blocks.

This video discusses the properties of water along with the chemical structure that adds to the water’s ability to have these unique properties. The properties of water come from the attraction of charged atoms from different molecules. The five properties of water are cohesion, adhesion, high specific heat and vaporization, lower density as a solid, and a universal solvent. This video goes into depth of each property of water. Click on Water and Life.

pH Scale

This video briefly describes the pH scale and gives a common example for each level of the pH scale. Click on pH.

Properties of Acids and Bases

This link includes an informative slideshow. It gives us the definition of an acid and base, the physical and chemical properties of each, and the uses and roles they play in our lives. Click on Acids and Bases.

Functional Groups: The Chemistry of Life

This video explains what functional groups are in the context of organic chemistry. The special functions of carbon atoms, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, how aromatic compounds are introduced, and how they are related to functional groups. It explains how the functional groups are formed, and how their nomenclature is determined. Click on Video One Functional Groups and the Chemistry of Life. and Video Two on Functional Groups.

Phospholipid Bilayer (in cell membrane)

These three videos describe the cell membrane. Cell membranes are made of proteins and phospholipids. Phospholipids consist of polar heads (friendly to water) and non-polar Carbon tails (hydrophobic). The cell membrane is semi permeable and selective to polar and non-polar substances; to move accross the cell membrane, ions, molecules, particles and water are “moved” in and out the cell by specialized proteins located in the membrane (i.e. channels, pumps). Click on Video ONE or Video TWO or Video THREE.

Cell Organelles

In this video, the cell organelles are explored. The video contains 3D animations and real images from a microscope. Click on Organelles.

Animal Cell

This video focuses on animal cells and their organelles. It includes detailed animations and describes the structures of the cell. Click on Animal Cell and Voyage Inside the Cell.

 

Organelles in Animal Cells

The video alternates between diagrams of the cell and enlarged illustrations of the individual cell organelles, including the Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, nucleus, lysosomes and ribosomes. Click on Organelles in Animal Cells.

Plant Cell

In this video, plant cell structures and functions are described. Vacuoles and chloroplasts are shown. Photosynthesis is briefly described. Other important structures of plant cells include xylem tubes for water transport and phloem tubes for nutrients. Click on Plant Cell.

Plant- and Animal-Cell Comparison

This interactive animation compares plant and animal cells. You can click on the cell structures and the animation explains what each organelle is and its function. Click on Comparison Plant and Animal Cells.

Pop-up questions video on types of cells

This animation shows the differences and similarities of the plant, animal, and prokaryotic cells. Once immersed into the animation, you can read about the different cells and answer pop-up questions about the function of organelles. Click on Pop-up questions video.

Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes

This is a short animation with a narration about the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. It describes the basic differences on many levels including size, DNA, organelles, reproduction, and types of organisms that have different types of cells. Click on Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes.

Diffusion

This video explains how diffusion works using the example of a lump of sugar dissolving in water. Diffusion makes particles spread out equally in a solution by moving from an area of high concentration of particles to an area of low concentration of particles. Click on Diffusion.

Facilitated Diffusion

This video explains facilitated diffusion, where a particle binds to a specific carrier molecule located in the plasma membrane (a protein); the carrier facilitates transport of the particle across the membrane without the use of energy. Click on Facilitated Diffusion.

Active Transport: Sodium-Potassium Pump

This video explains the sodium-potassium pump, an example of active transport; the Na and K pump is a transmembrane protein that facilitates the movement of sodium ions out of the cell and potassium ions into the cell using energy from ATP. Click on Na and K Pump.

Gated Ion Channels

This video shows the interaction between sodium and potassium channels in the plasma membrane of a cell. When the membrane potential is at its maximum, the sodium channels open, letting sodium ions into the cell. Soon after, the potassium channels open and potassium is transported out of the cell. Once the membrane potential achieves maximum depolarization, the sodium ion channels become inactive. Click on Gated Ion Channels.

Osmosis

This video explains osmosis, the diffusion of water molecules across a membrane from an area of high concentration of water to an area of low concentration of water. The differential pressure (=energy) of this movement of water from areas of high to low concentration of water is called “osmotic pressure.” Click on Osmosis.

Endocytosis and Exocytosis

These short videos show and discuss phagocitosis, exocytosis and endocytosis. Exocytosis is the process in which cells expel material from inside them, and endocytosis is the process in which the cell takes in material from the outside of the cell. Click on Video ONE or Video TWO.

Cellular Respiration

MitochondriaCell respiration is, essentially, the process in which the fuel (food) taken in by an organism is converted to ATP, which the cell uses to do work. This animation breaks down respiration into four distinctive “levels” or separate processes. These are glycolysis, acetyl CoA formation, the citric acid cycle, and electron transport. The link also grants access to a slide show to summarize the data in the video as well as other interactive learning activities. Click on Cell Respiration.

Glycolysis

This video provides information and visual aid on the process of glycolysis, in which cells break down glucose for use in cellular respiration. Click on Glycolysis.

Glycolysis breaks glucose by ten reactions catalyzed by enzymes. It has a net formation of 2 ATP and 2 NADH molecules. Click on ATP and NADH.

Citric Acid Cycle (Krebs cycle)

CitricsIn aerobic organisms, the citric acid cycle is a component of metabolic conversion of fats, carbs, and proteins into water and carbon dioxide to create a form of usable energy. This Video is an eye-catching, narrated, well-delivered blackboard-style presentation. Click on Citric Acid Cycle.

This video shows and explains step-by-step the citric acid cycle, also known as Krebs cycle. The cycle goes continuously, producing 2 ATP molecules for every molecule of glucose used. NADH and other electron carriers carry electrons out of the cycle to the electron transport chain. Click on Krebs Cycle and Electron Transport Chain.

Electron Transport Chain

Electron clowdThe electron transport chain is a series of proteins in the membrane of mitochondria. The chain uses electrons from the citric acid cycle in order to eventually cause ATP synthesis. This video explains in detail this “final process” of cell respiration. Click on Electron Transport Chain.

The electrons from NADP+ and H+ are taken by electron carrier proteins which release H+ into the extracellular matrix. As electrons move across the mitochondrion membrane, an H+ gradient is formed and when the H+ re-enter the cell through ATP Synthase, ATP is created. Click on Synthesis of ATP.

The electrons from NADP+ and H+ are taken by electron carrier proteins which release H+ into the extracellular matrix. As electrons move across the mitochondrion membrane, an H+ gradient is formed and when the H+ re-enter the cell through ATP Synthase, ATP is created. Click on More on Synthesis of ATP.

Photosynthesis

ChloroplastsPhotosynthesis is the process in which sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water is used to produce sugar and oxygen in plants. This link provides a detailed animation of the process of photosynthesis and breaks it down into light reactions and the Calvin cycle. The link also includes a slide show summarizing information and several activities. Click on Photosynthesis.

Calvin Cycle

The Calvin Cycle is thoroughly explained beginning with carbon fixation from CO2 to the recycling of G3P and over again. Click on The Calvin Cycle.

Metabolism and Thermodynamics

These two videos discuss metabolism, energy, the laws of thermodynamics, and explain these processes within cells. Click on Video ONE or Thermodynamics.

The Cell Cycle (Mitosis)

Cells in mitosisThis link provides a detailed animation of the process of mitosis, the process in which cell chromosomes are replicated and separated into separate nuclei. It also provides a slide show to summarize the information from the animation and includes several learning activities. Click on Mitosis.

This video covers the whole process of mitosis. Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase and Cytokinesis are covered. Click on Phases of Mitosis.

This video briefly explains in an informative manner the processes of mitosis and cytokinesis, the processes of cell chromosome replication and new cell synthesis. Click on Chromosome Replication.

Meiosis versus Mitosis

This animation compares and contrasts Meiosis and Mitosis. Mitosis, used for replication and repair of tissue cells, begins with a single, 46-chromosome cell, and ends with two 46-chromosome cells. Meiosis, the cell division which generates gametes, begins with a single 46-chromosome cell and ends with four 23-chromosome cells. Click on Meiosis vs. Mitosis.

Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles

Chromosomes in meiosisMeiosis is the process in which gametes are produced. The link includes an animation and slide show to explain this in a visual and informative manner and has several educational activities to enhance learning. Click on Meiosis.

Meiosis is the cell cycle involved in/required for sexual reproduction. In this process, genes are shuffled and four cells are produced. This video is a computer-animated, well-narrated explanation of meiosis. Click on Great Meiosis Animation.

Video-dance and Rap on meiosis. A mini-video on crossing over plust rap lyrics on meriosis. Click on Bitches Don’t Know Bout Meiosis and Rappin’ About Meiosis.

Crossing Over in Meiosis

Chromosomes in Crossing OverThis video explains the process of meiosis. Meiosis I and II are both illustrated and crossing over between chromosomes is explained. During recombination, parental genetic material is exchanged between chromatides of homologous chromosomes. Recombination is a source of genetic variability; sexually-reproducing organisms recombine genetic material during meiosis. Click on Crossing Over.

 Mendel and The Gene Idea

A narrated, podcast-style slide show presentation that goes into detail explaining Mendelian genetic inheritance. The Law of Segregation, including the genotype, phenotype, punnett square, and Law of Independent assortment are all described and defined in detail. Click on Mendel’s Laws.

Mendel’s Law of Segregation

This is a short video lecture about Mendel’s first law of inheritance, the Law of Segregation.

Beneath the video this law is broken, in text, into four basic and informative parts. Click on Law of Segregation.

Mendel’s Law of Independent Assortment

Green PeasThis is a short video lecture about Mendel’s second law of inheritance, The Law of Independent Assortment. This law essentially says that alleles of any gene segregate into gametes independently of alleles from any other given gene. Click on Law of Independent Assortment.

Click the “animation” tab in the top and select “step through”. This will begin the semi-interactive animation showing us Independent Assortment. Alternatively, click on Semi-interactive animation.

The Common Genetic Code

This video explores the universality of the genetic code by documenting an experiment in which a strain of yeast –with a defective gene– is able to repair itself using the human version of the gene. In this way, the video explains how all forms of life are connected by common ancestors. Click on Genetic Code.

Chromosomal Inheritance

Blue ChromosomeThis is a detailed, narrated combination video of Mendel’s and Morgan’s works. The topics covered are colorblindness, recombination, incomplete dominance (using snapdragons and blood types as an example), and polygenic inheritance (skin pigmentation). Click on Chromosomal Inheritance or How DNA is Packaged.

Sex Linked Traits

This is a very clear, narrated, easy to understand video that discusses Morgan’s fruit fly experiments. Click on Sex-linked Traits.

Chromosomal Mutations

Chromosomal mutations are a source of genetic variability. Chromosomal alterations include: deletion, duplication, inversion, and translation. In deletion a section of genetic material in the chromosome is removed. The chromosome’s genetic material is doubled in duplication so there are two sections of each region in one chromosome. Inversion occurs when genetic material is broken off of the chromosome, flipped around, and re-placed back in the chromosome. Translocations can occur during crossing over (meiosis). Click on Chromosomal Mutations.

Supergene Controls Butterfly Mimicry

Butterflies of various “edible” species imitate the wing pattern and color of poisonous species. By changing their phenotypic appearance, these butterflies are better protected from predators. A “supergene” seems to be responsible for this complex developmental phenomenon. Because the butterflies that mimic poisonous species have a better chance for survival, the traits coded by the supergene are kept by selection. Click on Mimicry.

Pedigree

This is a well-explained, moderate-paced video on pedigree. Good diagrams and easy to follow. Click on Pedigree.

DNA Learning Center

This link leads to a website known as the DNA Learning Center. It has over 20 videos that cover topics ranging from DNA, replication, transcription and translation, to diseases (sickle cell and tumors) and mutations, and experimental techniques discussed in Campbell Biology. Once you have accessed the link, simply scroll down to view the list of topics and videos. Click on DNA Learning Center.

Structure of DNA

Both videos describe the helix structure of DNA, including the sugar-phosphate backbone and bases (4 different bases): Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine. It also tells us about the complementary base pairings. DNA is the replicator of coded genetic information; because DNA is common to most organisms, life itself can be traced back –via genetic ancestry analysis–to ancient single origins. Click on DNA Video ONE or DNA Video TWO.

 Chromosomal Coiling and Condensing

This video explains how chromatids are formed. Click on Chromosomal Coiling and Condensing.

DNA Replication

This video shows how DNA replication occurs. Click on DNA Replication.

DNA repair

This video shows how nucleotide excision repair occurs. Click on DNA Repair.

Protein Synthesis

Video shows the formation of RNA, from DNA, and the subsequent assemblage of amino acids (the polypeptide chain) along the sequence of RNA. All RNAs are shown in action: the messenger, the ribosomal and the transport RNAs. During translation, the RNA coded sequence is decoded into one or many amino acid sequences. Click on From DNA to RNA to Protein.

Alternative Splicing

Alternative splicing is the process by which different mRNA molecules are produced from the same primary transcript; or “reading the alternative message of a genome.” While the animation is good, the video lacks audio. Click on Alternative Splicing.

Molecular Visualization of DNA

Video shows complete central dogma of molecular biology. From DNA, to RNA, to proteins; some details of mitosis are also shown; although the video is long (7:47 min), 3-D molecular details are shown and more realistic depictions of molecules. Click on Molecular Visualization of DNA.

Sequencing a Genome

This video-link includes 20+ videos about the sequencing of the human genome. The videos provide a basic outline on how the human genome was sequenced. The video series finishes by discussing the applications of the decoded genome, specifically its role in identifying and understanding diseases. Click on GENOME: Unlocking Life’s Code – Parts of the Cell, Chromosomes and Genes.

Polymerase Chain Reaction

This video explains the basics of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The PCR is an efficient method to replicate DNA. Click on PCR.

More on Polymerase Chain Reaction

PCR is a process that amplifies DNA in vitro. A specific segment of DNA can be quickly amplified in a test tube by three steps: denaturing or separation of the DNA chains, annealing of the hydrogen bonds between complementary chains of DNA, and extension when nucleotides are polymerized by the enzyme polymerase. Click on PCR video ONE, TWO or THREE.

Gel Electrophoresis

An annotated video explaining the technique of gel electrophoresis, a method in which molecules are separated –according to size and electrical charge– in a polymer. Click on Gel Electrophoresis ONE and TWO.

Signal Transduction

This video shows the arrival of an extracellular signal to a cell membrane receptor which, via phosphorilation, relays a message (=transduction) to inside-the-cell molecules which, in turn, generate a response (cellular or nuclear). Click on Signal Transduction.

Cellular Metabolism and Feedback Loops

This video describes the process of cellular metabolism in the form of feedback loops. In this case, the end product regulates the production of more, additional product through feedback inhibition; the end product binds to the first enzyme in the loop and causes a change in the enzyme’s shape, making it temporarily impossible for the enzyme to function. Click on Feedback Loop.

Metabolism and Insulin

Metabolism includes chemical processes necessary to maintain homeostasis and life. One of such processes is the role of insulin in the body: Food is broken down when digested, and the body absorbs glucose. Glucose travels via the blood stream to cells in all tissues and raises the sugar levels. Insulin contributes to keep glucose levels stable not only in the blood but in all tissues. Click on Metabolism and Insulin Click related video Metabolism of Glucose.

Transcription

This video goes into the specificities of transcription, in which genetic information encoded in DNA is transcribed into a complementary RNA. The link also provides a “simplified” version of the video and its content, in which the commentary is simplified. Click on Transcription.

Translation

This video goes into the details of of translation, in which the genetic code carried by mRNA (after transcription from DNA to RNA) is decoded by a ribosome –and its interaction with tRNAs— to produce a protein. The link also provides a “simplified” version of the video and its content, in which the commentary is simplified. Click on Translation.

Protein Synthesis

This link provides both an animation and slide show about protein synthesis. It breaks up the entire process of protein synthesis into distinct steps: transcription, RNA processing, translation, and protein processing. Or DNA to RNA to protein. The link also includes an activity, study sheet, and quiz. Click on Protein Synthesis.

Histone Modification

Video animation on the mechanisms of coiling and uncoiling DNA in chromosomes (=chromatine), where histone proteins contribute to compact DNA; Histone Acetyltransferase HAT and Histone Deacetylase HDAC are crucial enzymes in the tight packing of DNA; during transcription, DNA must become uncoiled and “genes be accessible to be read.” Click on Histones.

Operon

Short but detailed narrated video about the LAC operon (lactose), and how lactose affects the formation of structural proteins. The LAC operon is required by enteric bacteria for transport and metabolic processes. The lac operon enables the digestion of lactose, which, through use of an enzyme, is broken down into the digestible galactose and glucose. Click on LAC Operon.

Non-coding RNAs role in Gene Expression

A detailed, narrated, animated video on “RNA interference” or RNAi. RNAi is a cellular process used to weaken or cease the activity of certain genes. RNAi functions through the destruction of the cell’s mRNAs (messenger RNAs), which ceases the production of proteins in a cell, ending the cell’s activity. Click on Non-coding RNAs.

Enzymes

These videos describe the chemical reactions that occur in the cell and that are controlled by enzymes, also known as biological catalysts. Enzymes lower the activation energy needed for a reaction, and are proteins with specific shapes. When an enzyme and a substrate come together it resembles a lock and a key. An enzyme attached to a substrate is called an enzyme substrate complex. Enzyme structure is determined by an amino acid sequence. Every enzyme has an active site specific to a substrate. In some cases ions, cofactors, help the enzyme and substrate bond together. After the substrate has bonded to the enzyme the end result is a new product. Click on Enzymes Video One and Video TWO.

Competitive inhibition

This video covers competitive inhibition. A molecule resembling an enzymes targeted substrate attaches to the enzyme, keeping it from actually binding to a substrate and doing work, effectively disabling the enzyme. Click on Competitive inhibition.

Cell Signaling

This somewhat lengthy video brings the viewer on a thorough journey through a cell. The journey follows the steps of a cell being signaled to produce a protein that will be used in the body. The video also covers protein synthesis and follows that protein until it reaches its function. To appreciate this video fully, it would help to be familiar with the overall process of protein synthesis. Click on Cell Signaling.

Homeostasis

This short video gives a simple definition of what homeostasis is and goes into examples of what it regulates in terms of internal and external environment. It then describes the process of negative feedback loops and what systems use homeostasis to maintain a balance. Click on Homeostasis.

Homeostatic Disruptions

In this video Paul Andersen describes when the process of homeostasis is disrupted and how it can affect our bodies and, on a larger scale, entire environments. He focuses on dehydration in humans on a cellular level, and invasive species that are introduced into a new environment. This video explains why homeostasis is so important to maintain in every aspect of life and why the consequences of its disruption are so severe. Click on Homeostasis Disruptions.

Apoptosis

This is a narrated video on apoptosis. Apoptosis is a programmed cell death stimulated during development in organisms in order to “shape” organs. Upon receiving an enzymatic trigger, cells begin to self-package themselves, making their removal by macrophages easier. Click on Apoptosis or on this only-image animation about apoptosis.

Signal Transduction

This link provides an interactive animation rather than an actual video. Despite its less advanced visuals, the animation activity has good information on signal transduction. In signal transduction an extracellular molecule binds to a membrane receptor on a cell which causes the receptor to spark a cascade of intracellular effects to produce a response. This is a generalized description of signal transduction, but the animation does go into some depth, providing good information. Click on Signal Transduction.

Developmental Biology

Kathryn Anderson discusses developmental biology and how cell signals are used to control embryonic development. It is a rather long but very informative and interesting video. Click on Development.

Morphogenesis

This video shows the process of morphogenesis of a fruit fly. In morphogenesis, the multicellular structure of an organism is “shaped” or “carved” via cell growth and apoptosis. Morphogenesis is an important part of embryonic development. While this video lacks flashy animations, it shows morphogenesis of a real embryo. Click on Morphogenesis and Embryogenesis.

Hox Genes

This is a narrated video explaining HOX genes and their roles in life. HOX genes are crucial for organizing segmented structures of organisms during embryonic development.  Click on Hox Genes.

Hox Genes: As “Master Genes”

This simulation illustrates the role of “master genes” or hox genes during the development of fruit flies. By interacting with other genes, hox genes contribute to regulate the process of cell division, cell-tissue growth, carving of morpho-traits over cell congregations, specialization of tissues, and even cell death (=apoptosis). Click on Master Genes.

The Evolution of Populations

This link provided an animation, slide show, tutorials, and a quiz about the mechanisms of evolution. The animation and slide show, specifically, discuss and explain natural selection, genetic drift and immigration/emigration (=“gene flow”) and their contribution to evolution. The link neglects to describe or animate mutation, another major evolutionary force. Click on Mechanisms of Evolution.

Evolutionary Forces

How can a “thumbs up” sign help us remember five processes that impact evolution? The story of the Five Fingers of Evolution gives us a clever way of understanding change in gene pools over time. Click on Evolutionary Forces.

Fish Model Evolutionary Forces

This animation discuss the mechanisms of evolution by highlighting the evolutionary forces of mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and natural selection; the animation uses a fish model to explain changes in the genetic composition in a population which lead to micro and later macro evolution. Click on Fish Model Evolutionary Forces.

Robotics and Evolution

This link contains an article and 3 videos. The overall premise of this link and videos is to show how robots can help us simulate evolution and its various mechanisms, primarily through natural selection, mutation, and recombination of coding (genetic code) in the robots. Their ability to orientate, escape predators, and demonstrate altruistic traits through many hundreds of generations is shown. This also demonstrates how even a small, simple code can allow for higher, more complex behaviors. Click on Robots and Evolution and its Scientific Article on Robotics.

Darwin’s Voyage

This video explains some of Darwin’s observations while traveling all over the world (1831-1836) on board of HMS Beagle. It also gives an overview of natural selection and Darwin’s postulates about the laws of nature. Click on Darwin’s Voyage.

Evolution in 5-min

This animation illustrates the gradual process of evolution. It starts over 500 million years (Cambrian) with one organism and shows how its lineage evolves over time. Click on The Journey of a Lineage in 5-min.

Evolution of the Eye

This animation illustrates the gradual evolution of the eye, from simpler to more complex forms, including the human eye. The origin of “the eye” has been an iconic example in evolution since the times of Darwin who found no problem in explaining the evolution of such a complex organ by means of gradual changes over time, driven by natural selection. Click on Eye Evolution.

Speciation. This video refers to the amazing example of population differentiation in the terrestrial Ensatina salamanders in Western United States. Click on Speciation.

Allopatric Speciation

The process of allopatric speciation is described in this video. Allopatric speciation occurs when a subpopulation of organisms colonizes a new environment, for example, a newly formed island, which is isolated from the original environment in which the organisms used to live (= the mainland). The barrier (the ocean) that separates the island from the mainland, facilitates the emergence of a new species. Click on Allopatric Speciation.

Sympatric Speciation

Once you have clicked on the link, select the tabs: “Animations,” then “Narrated,” then “Sympatric Speciation.” Sympatric speciation occurs when a new species emerges from one of the populations of a parental species without an evident geographic isolation; in some instances, sympatric speciation emerges from polyploidy, behavioral isolation, niche partitioning via specialization on the use of in situ resources. Click on Sympatry.

Bacterial Shape and Motility

This video explains the basic shapes of bacteria.  The bacterial types displayed in the video are bacilli, cocci, and spirilli.  Bacilli are rod-shaped, cocci are spherical, and spirilli are helical.  The video also explores bacterial motility, specifically the bacterial flagellum. Click on Bacterial Shape and Motility.

Prokaryotic Structure and Function 

This link provides a very basic activity that reviews the structure and function of the various parts of a prokaryotic cell. It can be used to provide base knowledge or review.  Knowledge and understanding of structure and function allows for a greater understanding of prokaryotic origin, the origin of life, and evolution. Click on Prokaryotic Structure and Function.

Binary Fission in Bacteria

This brief still animation depicts the most common form of bacterial reproduction, binary fission.  It provides a step-by-step tutorial that shows the viewer how binary fission takes place.  Above each image is a description of each step of binary fission. The first slide begins with a close up of a bacterial cell and introduces its structures and then goes into the details of to how binary fission occurs. Click on Binay Fission Video ONE and Video TWO.

Protists

This videos depicts many varieties of protists; it discusses their characteristics. Protists are eukaryotic and mostly unicellular; some can be colonial or even multicellular. Protists are not plants, fungi, or animals, they are protists! Click on Protists.

The Origins of Eukaryotic Diversity

This video is a segment from Protists: The Origins of Eukaryotic Diversity. It gives examples and basic information about the diverse behavior of Protists. The video also discusses the classification and the vast differences between various types of Protists. Click on Origin of Eukaryotes.

Brain Eating Amoeba 

This clip from “Monsters Inside Me” is about a protist known as a brain eating amoeba. It provides an overview of how this amoeba infects humans and evades the immune system. Click on Brain Eating Amoeba.

Flowering Plant Reproduction

This is a well-narrated video on flowering plant reproduction. The mechanisms by which flowering plants reproduce and the physiology of flowers are both explained in detail. Flowers are a reproductive adaptation of angiosperms (flower- and fruit-bearing plants). Click on Flowering Plant Reproduction.

Angiosperm Anatomy

This video provides an overview of angiosperm (flowering plant) anatomy. Angiosperms have two basic systems, the roots and the shoots; flowers are shoots. Flowering plants not only add color to natural environments, but they have also played a crucial role in the evolution of complex pollination and fruit dispersal interactions with animals. Click on Angiosperm Anatomy.

Stomata in Plants

Stomata are “pores” found in plant epidermic tissues, which allow for the exchange of gases, including carbon dioxide and oxygen, necessary for a plant’s photosynthesis. Click on Stomata.

Meristematic growth in plants

These  videos give a quick overview of apical meristem growth (primary growth) and lateral meristem growth (secondary growth). Apical meristems allow plants to grow tall, while lateral meristems help them growth thick. Click on Meristematic Growth ONE and TWO.

Secondary Growth in a plant

This animation illustrates a plant’s secondary growth (=increase in tissue thickness of stems and branches). The vascular cambium, made of stem cells, generates the xylem and phloem tissues. The xylem transports water and the phloem nutrients. Click on Secondary Growth.

Reproductive Cycle of Basidiomycete

This simple video details the reproductive cycle of Basidiomycete fungi. Basidiomycetes, also known as “club fungi” are the most well-known of the “mushrooms”. Their life cycle begins with the long-lived mycelium, which, in response to environmental conditions, will produce fruiting bodies called “basidiocarps”.  Basidiocarps are the source of the fungi’s reproductive spores. Click on Basidiomycetes.

The Fossil Record and Evolution

This slideshow-style and semi-animated video describes the significance of the fossil record in evolution. The fossil record, through its many layers, shows various transitional forms of different species and lineages. Click on Fossils and Evolution.

Dating Fossils

This video explains how dating of the rock layers is used to estimate the age of fossils. The fossil record and evolution of fishes is explored at the bottom of a dried lake. In a span of about 10,000 years, fish populations have evolved dramatically. This particular fossil record is remarkably complete and includes of intermediate forms of fish fossils. Click on Dates of Fossils.

Carbon Dating

This video explains the process of carbon dating in great detail. Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope that accounts for only a small percentage of the planet’s carbon, but occurs in all living organisms. Because Carbon-14 decays at a steady rate, it can be measured in fossils enabling scientists to estimate the age of relatively recent organic remains (up to 60,000 years). Click on Carbon Dating.

The Great Transformation From Land to Water

This video explains some of the adaptations mammals acquired in order to make the transition from land into water. It focuses on some of the amazing fossil discoveries that appear to be ancestors of modern whales. This video also displays the transitional whale fossils, including Basilosaurus. These all provide evidence for the evolution of whales from terrestrial quadrupeds and also show the gradual, selective process in which this evolution occurred. Click on Great Transformations Whales or When Whales Had Legs.

How Do We Know Evolution Happens?

This video explains the overwhelming evidence that supports the theory of evolution. It mainly focuses on the fossil record, which not only provides tangible evidence about evolution, but also insights into when and why these transformations occurred. By exploring the evolution of whales, this video also shows the steps taken in piecing together the Cetacean (=whales and dolphins) phylogeny and reconstructing their biological past. Click on How Evolution Happens.

Invertebrate Phyla

This short, descriptive video provides descriptions of examples of invertebrates. It lists the phyla Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematode, Annelida, Mollusca, Echinodermata, and Anthropoda. It then displays pictures of an organism from each phyla and describes its unique characteristics. Click on Invertebrate Phyla.

Vertebrates and Invertebrates

This video compares vertebrates and invertebrates. It describes how vertebrates have backbones while invertebrates don’t. It then goes into detailed examples, classifying which organisms are vertebrates and which are invertebrates. Click on Vertebrates and Invertebrates.

Chordates

Chordates are characterized by having (for at least some period of their life cycle) a notochord, a dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, a filter-feeding organ, a ciliated groove on the pharynx which produces mucus to gather food particles, and a post anal tail. This video discusses important taxa within the phyla Chordata. Click on Chordates.

Fish with digits: transitional fossils

This video, about the evolution of terrestriality, discusses how and when tetrapods developed digits and limbs. Originally it was thought that fish went up on land, out of the water, with only fins and that their limbs developed later. When a new fossil was discovered of early tetrapods with a distinct hand-like limb with bones, it became evident that fish developed limbs before they came out of the water. Click on Fish With Digits.

Tetrapod Evolution

In this video, the evolution of tetrapods is examined. The first ancestors of modern day tetrapods began to evolve new features facilitating their adaptation to terrestrial life during the Devonian periods. The video examines the evolution of limbs and the loss of gills as each lineage develops new adaptations for land. Scientists from Cambridge University further examine the transition from sea to land life by examining fossils of the ancestors of tetrapods. Click on Tetrapods.

Evolutionary History of Cetaceans

This is a highly-detailed, and well-narrated slideshow which explains the evolutionary history of cetaceans. Cetaceans, a group that includes whales, narwhals, dolphins, and porpoises, have descended from terrestrial, hoofed ancestors, and have undergone multiple physiological changes in order to adapt to an aquatic lifestyle. Click on History of Cetaceans and Whale Evolution.

Tiktaalik

This video features the song “Tiktaalik (Your Inner Fish)”. Tiktaalik was a transitional form organism from the Devonian (400 million years ago) which fossil was discovered in the Canadian Tundra. This amphibian-life-style animal probably lived in swamps and was able to push its head out of the water by using forelimbs with digits; the back limbs, however, looked more like a fish, with fins and an elongated tail; Ticktaalik was probably a predator. Click on Tiktaalik.

Whale Evolution

This video introduces cetacean evolution. It teaches how cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) have evolved from terrestrial mammals. The video highlights specific fossil evidence and explains how this process is not only possible but it is an unquestionable scientific truth. Understanding Cetacean evolution and the Cetacean fossil record can provide greater understanding to evolution in general and the beauty of it. Click on Whales.

From Ungulates to Whales

This video explains some of the evolutionary steps taken by ungulates in the process of giving origin to whales. The most important of these steps were the ability to reproduce and feed young underwater. Click on Ungulates to Whales.

Ecolocation in Cetaceans

This video informs us on how cetaceans use echolocation underwater (sonar) to navigate and find prey. Some cetaceans produce a sound signal which is used to “scan” the surrounding area. This signal bounces back off of the surroundings and forms a perceptual picture in the cetaceans’ mind. Click on Ecolocation in Cetaceans.

Cetacean Communications

This video discusses underwater communication among cetaceans. Whales and Dolphins emit a variety of noises that travel through water and facilitate social communication. Click on Cetacean Communication.

On Phylogenies

This video describes how to read and construct phylogenetic trees. It provides the example of sponges, bears, and plants and describes how to correctly read the nodes and the relationships between each in. It also describes the relationships between different clades of animals. Click on Phylogenies.

The Structure of Phylogenetic Trees

These videos illustrate how phylogenetic trees are constructed, as well as their structural components, including branches, nodes, homologous and analogous traits depicted on the trees’ branches. How to read a phylogeny is described in some detail. Click on Phylogenetic Trees ONE, TWO and THREE.

Cladograms
This video describes what a cladogram is and how to construct one. Click on Cladogram

Lice and Human Evolution

This video explores the time at which human ancestors lost their body hair and began to wear clothing; this can be determined via the exploration of head, clothing, and pubic lice evolution. By studying the origins of clothing, evidence can be gathered to establish the time frame in which human ancestors left the warm African climate. Click on Lice and Humans.

Did Humans Evolve?

This video helps to clarify many misconceptions about the process of evolution. It also explores both the fossil record and molecular evidence about human origins from common ancestors within the apes. Click on Did Humans Evolve? The Birth of Humanity.

Early Human Ancestors

This video describes the early ancestors of humans, providing a brief explanation of each hominid species beginning with Australopithecus africanus who lived around 4 million years ago. It then describes several other species, ending with Homo sapiens (modern man) who lived around 40,000 years ago. The video is short but clear- furthermore, it also describes the migrating patterns of each species. Click on Early Humans or on The Incredible Human Journey.

Investigating Bipedalism

This short, but informative video compares the skeleton of a human with one of our closest living relatives, the chimp. It explores the subtle differences between these structures, which ultimately gave humans the ability to walk up-right on two legs. The transformation, however, was not as dramatic as it first appears and this video provides insight into the evolutionary adaptations that made it possible. Click on Bipedalism

Finding Lucy

These videos document Donald Johanson’s amazing discovery of the hominid species Australopithecus afarensis. This discovery documents the emergence of bipedalism in a species that existed 3 million years ago; the Lucy’s fossil is also considered a transitional form of hominid, thus giving insights into the evolution of modern humans. Click on Lucy ONE and TWO.

Laetoli Footprint

This video discusses the formation and fossilization of the famous Laetoli (Tanzania) footprints, left by a small group of australopithecines. The footprints, dating back 3.6 million years, closely resemble those of modern humans. The video explains the importance of such a discovery and compares the footprints to those of chimps and humans. Click on Laetoli Footprints.

Evolution of Bipedalism

These videos compare and contrasts the human skeleton with the bone anatomy of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. The anatomical comparison helps explain the evolution of bipedalism in the human lineage. A second video goes into the details of bipedal locomotion and evolution, and a third video provides numerous images in sequence from quadrupedal to bipedal locomotion. Click on Bipedalism ONE, TWO, and THREE or Ape to Human or Bipedalism and Human Origins-Comparative Anatomy from Australopithecus to Gorillas.

Anatomical Planes

This video explains the anatomical planes and how they help us describe the human anatomy according to specific topological parameters: planes, cuts, directions. Click on Anatomical planes.

Early Hominids

Ronald Clark discusses the early hominids. He presents interesting findings in a fun way using pictures and animations. A second, related video, discusses human evolution. Click on Early Hominids.

Oldest Known Hominid Ancestor: Ardi

These videos discusse the discovery of Ardipithecus ramidus, or Ardi; this species is the oldest known hominid fossil ever discovered… so far. The first skeleton of Ardipithecus was found fifteen years ago in Northern Ethiopia. Ardi is the closest form of hominid possibly connected to the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. It is unsure, however, if Ardi is a direct ancestor of the human lineage. Click on Ardi ONE and TWO.

Chimps and Bonobos

The video Chimps and Bonobos explores these sister taxa and compares their differing societies. In doing so, this video provides insight into the divergence of these species and how certain environmental and social differences might have spurred such changes. Ultimately, the broader message of the video serves to explain how environmental differences have strong implications for the divergence and therefore evolution of closely related species. Click on Chimps Bonobos

Population Ecology-Survivorship Curves

This video explains Types I, II and III of survivorship curves, essential concepts in population ecology, urban ecology and population growth predictions. By comparing and contrasting how organisms adopt diverse survival strategies, we can understand how they co-exist in complex ecosystems. Click on Survivorship.

Island Biogeography

This video gives a brief introduction into the basics of the Island Biogeography Theory.  It explains how immigration and extinction affect the variation of species that exist on an island.  In addition, it describes how the biodiversity of an island is influenced by the size of the island, and the island’s distance from the main land.  This video uses the Big Hatchet Mountains as an example of Island Biogeography.  Vast areas of desert separate the mountain ranges so they act almost as islands and the theory can be applied to them in a similar way.  This is a very simple and informative video that makes Island Biogeography easy to understand. Click on ONE and TWO.

Plate Tectonics- A MUST see Informative Documentary

This video explains the factors responsible for earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis by discussing plate tectonics and their dynamics. Click on Plate tectonics.

Island biogeography

In this concise video, island biogeography is discussed. It is narrated and set over a world map showcasing how different species are distributed and migrate all over the world. Click on Island Biogeography.

Demographic Transition

This is a short, silent, animated video demonstrating the graphical representation of the demographic transition of a specific observed scenario in a population. A demographic transition is the shift from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates related to the development of a country. The graph depicted in the video shows the relationship between birth and death rates and where they measure over five stages. One can assume that the fluctuation in the population overtime is supported by the improvement of health care and everyday living. Click on Demographic Transition

Capture- Recapture Method

A method to sample the population is by using the capture- recapture method. It is a good way to get an estimate of the density of an area and it gives the equation used to approximate the population. The dispersion pattern of a population refers to the way individuals are spaced within the area and can be organized as clumped, uniform or random. Models can describe either an exponential growth or a logistic growth. This video gives a demonstration on how to perform this sampling, how to trap the specimens, where to place the traps, how to mark the animals, and how to determine whether it is a good sample. The capture- recapture method takes into consideration population density and the rate of replacement. Click on Capture Recapture

Climate change

This animation, named “The Carbon Crisis in 90 Seconds”, explains how carbon is cycled in everyday activities and compares how it is done in ways such as eating a banana and burning coal. It then goes on to describe how burning coal releases old, slow carbon that the earth cannot naturally control with its cycle. The coal that humans’ burn was previously absorbed by the plants on the Earth millions of years ago and was trapped underground. Today it gets harvested and reused, being released into the atmosphere in massive amounts. Most importantly it clarifies why this is a problem for our planet on account that the extra carbon acts as an insulator warming the Earth. Click on Climate Change

NASA animation on Climate Change

The video “Piecing Together the Temperature Puzzle,” is an animation produced by NASA that discusses the last decade 2000- 2010, and its status as the warmest decade recorded in history for the past 150 years. Using satellites, scientists have studied how greenhouse gases and the earth and sun’s reflective surface affects the planet’s ice melting, sea level rising, and temperature increasing. NASA has also been studying the amount of power the sun has been emitting and have found that it hasn’t increased, illustrating that it is the actions of humans’ that have contributed to the increased temperatures. NASA, with its research data from satellites, predict that in the next decade the temperatures will rise even higher. Click on NASA Climate.

Biomes

Biomes: This video discusses the 8 most common biomes: Temperate Evergreen and Deciduous Forests, Savanna, Desert, Taiga, Tundra, Temperate Grassland and Rainforest. These biomes hold and sustain the Earth’s biodiversity. Click on Biomes.

Biodiversity

This video raises awareness about biodiversity destruction and collateral impacts on Earth’s balance. It explains how humans have increased dramatically the loss of biodiversity, particularly through climate change. Click on Biodiversity.

Biodiversity Extinctions

According to the Global Biodiversity Outlook, 130 species go extinct every day. The world depends on biodiversity to keep a natural balance and provide all species with a chance to survive. Each species plays an essential role in keeping the planet going. Click on Biodiversity Extinctions.

Human Impact on Earth

This video discusses human impacts on the Earth, specifically climate change and its impact on the Earth’s biodiversity. Many organisms are endangered or facing imminent extinction due to climate change. Food production in the tropics and sub tropics will decrease as the temperature changes; this will put humans, especially those in developing nations, at risk of starvation. The alteration in weather caused by climate change will cause more floods in some areas while, at the same time, draughts in tropical lands. Click on Humans on Earth.

Climate change and the “Climate Time Machine”

This is an interactive animation shows the potential increase in sea level, atmospheric carbon dioxide and fluctuations in average global temperature due to climate change. The animation helps visualize climate change on global maps. Click on Climate.

Climate Change by NASA

In this video, NASA’s Space Institute for Goddard Studies examines the causes of climate change. Statistical trends about climate change are discussed. Click on NASA’s Climate Change.

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