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Human ancestors in Africa likely had dark skin, which is produced by an abundance of the pigment eumelanin in skin cells. In the high ultraviolet (UV) environment of sub-Saharan Africa, darker skin offers protection from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Dr. Jablonski explains that the variation in skin color that evolved since human ancestors migrated out of Africa can be explained by the tradeoff between protection from UV and the need for some UV absorption for the production of vitamin D.
Megaloceros was one of the largest members of the deer family ever to walk the Earth. The archaeological record is full of evidence that human ancestors lived alongside and interacted with these giant mammals for millennia. Part of the “Eons” series.
Though tool use is not unique to humans, their sophistication and degree of reliance upon them is unique, and sets humans apart from other species. So when did human tool-making begin, and why? And what does the use of tools reveal about the evolution of human ancestors? Paleoanthropologist Tim White reveals the answers in this short video.
The Carboniferous rainforest collapse set the stage for a takeover that would be a crucial turning point in the history of terrestrial animal life. If it weren’t for this event in ancient history, human ancestors might never have made it out of the swamps. Part of the “Eons” series.
Lucy was a hominid that lived 3.2 million years ago, and her anatomy provides surprising insights into human ancestors. A member of the species Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy illuminates the human evolution timeline. Students learn about this world-famous fossil and the evidence of bipedalism.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, Peter Ungar is revealing more details about the lives of human ancestors, and he’s doing it through dentistry. The University of Arkansas anthropologist uses high tech dental scans to find out more about the diets of hominids, a technique that sometimes leads to new and very different conclusions. While anthropologists traditionally determine the diets of our ancestors by examining the size and shape of teeth and jaws, Ungar's powerful microscopes paint a more detailed picture by looking at wear patterns on teeth.
A key moment in the evolutionary saga occurred 200 million years ago, when the ferocious reptile-like animals that roamed the Earth were in the process of evolving into shrew-like mammals. But these reptilian ancestors left their mark on many parts of the human body, including skin, teeth and ears. Part of the “Your Inner Fish” series.
Consider the following: humans live twice as long as their ancient ancestors did even though their bodies contain different types of synthetic and sometimes toxic substances. This is an unpleasant part of life in the modern age. Explores the health impact, wide variety, and alarming ubiquity of manufactured chemicals. Shows how communities around the world, including Inuit seal hunters, Asian and African farmers, and residents of an industrial town in the United States address the pervasiveness of molecular compounds found in pesticides, plastics, and other products. The benefits of these chemicals are weighed against their dangers.
Human beings, like every living organism, are driven by two inherent needs: to survive, and ultimately, to reproduce. To accomplish the goals of survival and reproduction, we have inherited bodies crafted by evolution so that every individual human organism is an organic super factory, a living machine made up of systems that process fuel, build products, repair damage, expel waste, and defend against invaders. Introduces the complex physiological systems of the human body: muscular movement, digestion, circulation, respiration, nerves, glands, immunity, and reproduction. Also, illustrates and explains the cellular basis of life and the importance of carbon in organic chemistry.
The smartest people in the world have spent millions of dollars trying to develop high-tech robots. Even though technology has come a long way, these humanoid robots are nowhere close to having the "brain" and motor control of a human. Why is that? A MIT scientist explains the motor control processes in the human brain, and how cutting-edge research is trying to implement it in robots. Part of the "Science Out Loud" series.
Paleontologists have studied the fossil record of human evolution just like they have done for other major transitions, including the evolution of tetrapods from fish and the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. Sean Carroll and Tim White discuss the most important human fossils and how they illuminate key phases of human evolution, focusing in particular on three traits: larger brains, tool use, and bipedality.
Touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight: the human body's five major senses. They are senses that have evolved independently over millions of years but are brought together by our marvelous central nervous system into the most refined way of interacting with the environment of any species on the planet. Join Dr. Mark Reisman as he provides you with a look at the anatomy and physiology of each of these sensory systems and shows how the brain uses them to produce what we call being human.
For centuries, land travel was restricted to how fast and far humans or animals could walk. In the 19th century, the invention of the bicycle transferred human energy to a set of wheels. During the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the steam engine led to the railroad, a change in transportation that created the tourist industry. In the early 20th century, the invention of the automobile forever changed how humans travel, and with the assembly line, Henry Ford forever changed how goods are manufactured.
Nutritional disorders include any of the nutrient-related diseases and conditions that cause illness in humans. They may include deficiencies or excesses in the diet. Exercise and a healthy diet can help combat these disorders. Part of the "Human Nutrition" series.
In this video, Pinky and Petunia discuss the 11 major organ systems in the human body. These include the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovasular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive system. Part of "The Amoeba Sisters" series.
Thrill seeking, extreme sports, and even dangerous professions all push the human body to its limits. The question is: How much can the human body handle? Newer technology enables doctors to simulate stressful events on models and monitors. Then, with the help of science, new products can be created to assist the human body in these situations.
Students receive an overview of nutrition basics starting with an in-depth look at nutrients. This program also provides an overview of nutrition standards and guidelines. Part of the "Human Nutrition" series.
This program provides an overview of the different types of foods. It also gives guidance on healthy eating. Students learn the difference between refined grain and whole grain. They also discuss the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, how the body turns proteins into amino acids to build muscle and tissue, and the need to avoid processed foods. Part of the "Human Nutrition" series.
Anthropologists have made new fossil discoveries on Palau, an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. But these fossils do not appear to be of animal origins. Could they belong to early humans? If so, scientists must answer the question of human variation. Segment of video from Wild Chronicles Series.
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they perform hundreds of roles in the body. There is a fine line between getting enough of these nutrients and getting too much. Eating a healthy diet remains the best way to get sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals. In addition to vitamins and minerals, water is also essential for the optimal performance and regulation of the human body. Part of the "Human Nutrition" series.
Showing collections 1 to 6 of 6
Resources to teach younger students about animals
A collection containing 58 resources, curated by DIAGRAM Center
Collection of anatomy resources
A collection containing 21 resources, curated by Benetech
Biology related concepts
A collection containing 59 resources, curated by Benetech
Resources related to vision
A collection containing 12 resources, curated by Charles LaPierre
A collection of Chemistry related resources
A collection containing 67 resources, curated by Benetech
A collection of simulations from PhET.
A collection containing 15 resources, curated by Charles LaPierre