How animal life started on Earth

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Researchers in Australia have solved the mystery of how animal life first appeared on Earth.

This clip not only explains how ecosystems can change, and how animal life began on Earth but also highlights careers for anyone with an interest in Chemistry, Biology and Geology.

Video length: 1:28 mins

Research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist.

The answer was found in ancient sedimentary rocks from central Australia.

“We crushed these rocks to powder and extracted molecules of ancient organisms from them,” said Professor Jochen Brocks from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.

“These molecules tell us that it really became interesting 650 million years ago. It was a revolution of ecosystems, it was the rise of algae.”

Brocks said the rise of algae triggered one of the most profound ecological revolutions in Earth’s history, without which humans and other animals would not exist.

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Years: 4, 6, 8, 9, 10


Biological Sciences – Ecosystems, Cells, Living Things

Chemical Sciences – Chemical Reactions

Earth and Space Sciences – Rocks, The Changing Earth

Additional – Careers, Technology.

Concepts (South Australia):

Biological Sciences – Interdependence and Ecosystems, Diversity and Evolution, Form and Function

Chemical Sciences – Change of Matter

Earth and Space Sciences – The Earth’s Surface


4, 6 & 8-10