Reviewed by Marc Zucker
This video takes us back to the formation and development of our oceans. Narrated by David Suzuki, it looks at some of the earliest life here on Earth, moving from ocean depths to microbial graveyards to creatures that have existed for some 500 million years.
Four major themes are covered in this episode. It starts with how the oceans first came about, how they were formed. It then moves on to the ocean depths and "black smokers", hydrothermal vents, explaining their effects on ocean life, and the tubeworms that were able to adapt there. A section on "Living Fossils" follows. Here the focus turns to creatures that were able to adapt and survive the constant onslaught of new predators.
Significant attention is given to the Nautilus, that 500 million year old species (as compared to humans, a 200 thousand year old species). The episode concludes with Ted Daeschler and his discovery of the Tiktaalik, a 375 million year old fossil that re–confirms Darwin’s theory that land–based animals originally came from the sea. Throughout, subjects such as skeletal structures and the ocean conveyor, with its effects on mass extinction, are seamlessly integrated into the narrative, giving the content a wonderful breadth and depth.
The cinematography is breathtaking. The views, especially those of the oceans’ depths, are nothing short of brilliant. The video is both visually stimulating and content rich, allowing for a quite wide and varied audience access to this DVD. Both teachers and students, along with every other person simply interested in the nature of the oceans and our ecosystem, will find themselves very pleased with this DVD.
Review posted on 9/13/2012