Great Transitions

Great Transitions is a documentary series created by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) which details the evolutionary road life has taken to create some of the species we know today.

Stunning fossil finds reveals the fascinating stories of major transitions in the history of life on our planet.

From fish that started to walk on land, to reptiles that dominated Earth to humans creating tools and spreading across the globe, palaeontologist unravel the secrets of life’s great transitions.

Episode 1: The Origin of Humans

Episode 1: Why Build A Castle?

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) takes a look at the origins of mankind by looking at the fossilized evidence left behind by our ape ancestors.

To understand our evolutionary past, Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans asks which traits distinguish humans from other primates, when and where those traits evolve and shows the latest findings on hominid evolution.

Palaeontologists 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.

In this film Sean Carroll and Tim White focus on the evolution of three traits: larger brains, tool use, and bipedality.

Episode 2: The Origin of Four-Legged Animals

Episode 2: The Origin of Four-Legged Animals

What are the origins and who are the ancestors of four-Legged Animals?

Dig into our past with palaeontologist Neil Shubin as he provides a first-hand account of the search for Tiktaalik, a fish that illuminates key evolutionary steps in the transition of life from water to land, and the evolution of four-legged animals.

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Great Transitions
  • Info
  • Release date2014
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Rob Whittlesey
  • Production companyHoward Hughes Medical Institute