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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Time Traveling Paleoentomologist

If you could travel back in time what would you find 50 million years ago? What was the climate like? Would you find the same plants? What animals were crawling, walking, and flying around? Paleoentomologist Bruce Archibald takes Dr. Biology back in time to explore the planet during the Eocene Epoch where things were a bit different than today – there was even a giant flying ant that would make anyone look twice.

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 16MB

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Topic Time
Introduction 00:00
What is biodiversity? 01:46
Do you have a time machine? 02:55
What is a fossil? 03:18
How are fossils made? 04:08
What makes a good fossil? 05:24
How much detail or resolution can a fossil have? 06:23
Why are museum fossil collections important? 08:24
The giant ant story. [ Titanomyrma lubei ] 11:34
What did the ant look like? 13:23
How does an ant get from Germany to North America? 14:15
Another research project on climate and biodiversity. 18.02
How the research was carried out. 21:45
Three questions. 25:24
When did you first know you wanted to be a biologist? 25:37
What would you be or do if you were not a paleoentomologist? 28:02
Advice for someone wanting to be a biologist. 29:28
Sign-off. [ Read more about Giant Insects. ] 30:42

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Time Traveling Paleoentomologist

Audio editor: CJ Kazilek

Ant from Eocene Epic compared to a hummingbird

Comparing the giant ant (Titanomyrma lubei) to a humminbird it is easy to see why you would be impressed by its size if one flew by you today. Image by Bruce Archibald.

Read more about giant insects in our Big, Big, Bugs story.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Ant from Eocene Epic compared to a hummingbird

Comparing the giant ant (Titanomyrma lubei) to a humminbird it is easy to see why you would be impressed by its size if one flew by you today. Image by Bruce Archibald.

Read more about giant insects in our Big, Big, Bugs story.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.