Evolution: life in the early Eocene

[PEREZGONZALEZ Jose D [ed] (2011). Evolution: life in the early Eocene. Journal of Knowledge Advancement & Integration (ISSN 1177-4576), 2011, pages 164-165.] [Printer friendly]

Evolution: life in the Ypresian Age (early Eocene, Cenozoic)

'Walking with Beasts' is a dramatization of life in the Cenozoic, focused mainly on the evolution of mammals. "Broadcast in 2001, it told the story of life on Earth from the death of the dinosaurs to the dawn of the age of man" (BBC, 20011). The first episode ('New Dawn') is centered on the Ypresian Age. (See also Wikipedia, 20112.)

Time: Ypresian Age (49 million years ago), early Eocene Epoch, in the Cenozoic Era.
Setting: Thick forest near the Messel Pit in Germany, high in volcanic activity, and with earthquakes, boiling water, escapes of poisonous gases, and Gastornis birds as main hazards.
Main species featured in the episode:
  • Gastornis, a giant flightless carnivorous bird, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Leptictidium, a small leaping mammal, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Ambulocetus, a cetacean, the ancestor of modern whales.
  • Propalaeotherium, a small perissodactyl, the ancestor of modern horses.
  • Godinotia, a lemur-like primate, a genus nowadays extinct.
  • Titanomyrma, a giant ant.
(Video 1/3 embedded from YouTube on 23 October 2011)
(Video 2/3 embedded from YouTube on 23 October 2011)
(Video 3/3 embedded from YouTube on 23 October 2011)


Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, Turitea Campus, Private Bag 11-222, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).

Want to know more?

Messel Pit Fossil Site
This is the Messel Pit fossil site website. The Messel Pit was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.
'Walking with beasts' TV series
Both the BBC, in the UK, and ABC, in Australia, offer more information about the making of the series.
Wikipedia - Geologic history of Earth
The following Wikipedia pages offer more information about the Ypresian Age, the Eocene Epoch, and the Cenozoic Era.
Wikipedia - Walking with beasts
This Wikipedia page offers more information about the series and companion book.

Other interesting sites
Journal KAI
Wiki of Science
The Balanced Nutrition Index
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License