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Filmography - Evolution: L - R

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012

Filmography - Evolution

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of June 2012.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

This is a selective list of video holdings in the American University Library. Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible.  All DVDs listed below are located in Media Services on the Lower Level of Bender Library. To search the library’s complete videos holdings on evolutionary topics (including VHS tapes) keyword searches in the library catalog will be necessary:

Over 800 videos on biology subjects (too numerous to list here) are available streaming through Films On Demand:

Films-On-Demand titles are password-protected and will require a login for students and faculty who wish to access them from off-campus.

Let there be words The origin of human language. 2007.  1 streaming video file (48 min.). What precisely is language, and how did humans acquire it? In an effort to answer those essential questions, this program journeys back to prehistoric times in search of language's origin. But this is not a passive discussion, as Noam Chomsky; Brown University's Philip Lieberman; Johanna Nichols, of U.C. Berkeley; Stanford University's Merritt Ruhlen; professor of anthropology Richard Klein; Nobel physicist Murray Gell-Mann; and others passionately defend their points of view. Additional topics include distinguishing features of human communication and what humankind's first utterances may have been. The early evolution and migration of humans is also considered. (48 minutes). Streaming video


Life. 2010.  4 videodiscs (586 min.). Four years in the making, and filmed over 3000 days across every continent and in every habitat, see 130 incredible stories from frontiers of the natural world. Discover the glorious variety of life on Earth and the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive. This is evolution in action: individual creatures under extreme pressure to overcome challenges from adversaries and their environment.  DVD 7561-7564


The life of mammals.  2003.  4 videodiscs (500 min.). Introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on this planet. From the smallest to the largest, from the slowest to the fastest, from the least attractive to the most irresistible. Looks at 4,000 species, including ones that have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on Earth. Examine how their adaptations for finding food have had an effect on the way they socialize, mate and live.  DVD 4221-4224


Life processes of plants. 2005.  1 streaming video file (17 min.). What are these alien life forms living among us? They're...plants! This video investigates the major differences-and some striking similarities-between plants and animals in the areas of what they consume, how they breathe, and how they reproduce. Plant evolution, cell structure, the photosynthesis/respiration cycle, flowering and non-flowering plants, and sexual and asexual reproduction are covered. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. Correlates to National Academy of Sciences National Science Education Standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science Benchmarks for Science Literacy. A Cambridge Educational Production. (17 minutes).  Streaming video


Life, the universe, and everything. 2005.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). Beginning at the Gargas Caves, France-humankind's first house of worship?-this program seeks to understand why our ancestors began to believe in one or more divinities and how, through the ages, different cultures have expressed that belief. Great mysteries such as death and nature are considered as factors in the evolution of religious faith as Robert Winston, archaeologist Jean Clottes, The British Museum's Irving Finkel, and others discuss animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism. The Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacan; Bambalapitiya Temple, Sri Lanka; the Great Stupa, Anuradhapura; and the Atashgah fire temple, Isfahan, are just some of the sacred sites visited. A BBCW Production. (60 minutes). Streaming video


Living cells structure, diversity, and evolution. 94.  1 videodisc. "Designed so that teachers, at both secondary school and universities, can introduce students to living cells using very high quality images taken in real time and time-lapse." VDD 101


Madagascar The land where evolution ran wild. 2011.  2 videodiscs (174 min.). For 65 million years, Madagascar was lost to the world, isolated, undiscovered, and untouched by humans. Left to its own devices it became a hotbed of evolution, resulting in the greatest concentration of unique creatures anywhere on the planet. More than 80% of Madagascar's animals and plants are found nowhere else on Earth. Recognized as one of the world's most important biodiversity hotspots.  HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 8699


The Meiotic mix. 92.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). This program illustrates the difference between mitosis, an asexual mode of reproduction, and the chromosomal dance that occurs during meiosis, with their significance to organic evolution. The reshuffling of chromosomes during meiosis is shown to generate variation. (10 minutes). Streaming video


Microscopes and mutants. 2003.  1 streaming video file (30 min.). As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, genetics came into its own as a science. This intro-level program shows how the development of the microscope pushed genetic studies forward, and includes in-depth discussion of early cell theory, particularly the first observations of meiosis and mitosis. Exploring Thomas Morgan Hunt's findings involving Drosophila mutation, the program covers sex-linked inheritance, the discovery of the X and Y chromosomes in the early 1900s, chromosomal roles in the transmission of genetic material, the importance of gene-mapping, and ways in which the science of genetics has been co-opted, particularly in the dead-end study of eugenics. A viewable/printable instructor's guide is available online. (30 minutes). Streaming video


The mind's big bang What about God? 2001.  Evolution.  1 videodisc (120 min.). In The mind's big bang: Between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, something happened that triggered a creative, technological and social explosion, allowing humans to dominate the planet. What forces may have contributed to the emergence of the modern human mind? In What about God?: Of all the species on earth, only humans try to explain who they are and how they came to be. Encounter real stories of people struggling to find a balance between religion and science, realms that play very different roles in assigning order to the universe and a purpose to life. DVD 5724


Mother tongues Languages around the world. 2007.  1 streaming video file (48 min.). This program travels the globe as it surveys a large portion of the world's languages-25 percent of which are spoken by a mere 0.1 percent of the Earth's population. Moving from Africa to Oceania and up to Asia and then west to Europe and across the ocean to the Americas, the program assesses how many languages are spoken in each region, the characteristics they share, and misconceptions about them. Historical background on some of the key languages of the regions is included as well. The commentary of Salikoko Mufwene, coeditor of The Ecology of Language Evolution; Larry Hyman, of U.C. Berkeley; Hua Lin, of the University of Victoria; Harvard University's Jay Jasanoff; and Lyle Campbell, of the University of Utah, is featured. (48 minutes). Streaming video


Mutation and all that. 92.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). Although the mechanism of meiosis constantly reshuffles the gene pool of a population, only mutation can account for the upward progression of a species. Examining the structure of DNA and the alteration of the genetic code, we learn why the relation of mutation to the rate of evolution remains a subject of debate today. (10 minutes) Streaming video


The mystery of the human hobbit. 2005.  Horizon: Ethnographic video online.  1 online resource (49 min.). Streaming video;1646978


Mystery of the Neanderthals. 2008.  1 streaming video file (28 min.). Traveling backward 35,000 years, this program visits a time when glaciers stretched across the Eurasian continent and a highly intelligent and adaptable hominid species roamed the landscape. The Neanderthal was an early ancestor-or, according to some experts, a rival-of human beings; a bulky creature with the intellect to survive an ice age, create art, and practice religion. But over a period of just a few thousand years, the Neanderthals mysteriously vanished. Pursuing this enigma, the film explores sites of recent anthropological finds that shed light on one of the most puzzling chapters in human evolution and may one day help to clarify just how much of the Neanderthal lives in us. (28 minutes). Streaming video


The nature of Biology An introduction. 95.  1 streaming video file (33 min.). Why study biology? What's it all about? Why does it matter? This is the video that helps answer these common questions about biology. Images from the natural world reinforce the sense of wonder and excitement involved in studying life science. Interviews with science professionals help viewers appreciate the impact and value of biology in society. The program is organized around the general themes of biology: Diversity of Life, Heredity, Cells, Interdependence of Life, Flow of Matter and Energy, and Evolution of Life. Through exploring these themes, students gain an understanding of the principles and values of life science. An upbeat introduction to the study of the living environment. A great way to begin a class in the life sciences! A Cambridge Educational Production. One 30-minute video . Streaming video


The nature of human nature. 95.  The Human quest.  1 videodisc (57 min.). Introduces the "second Darwinian revolution," a new understanding of the evolution of the human brain.  Discusses the concept of a universal human nature that is the product of natural selection.  DVD 9607


Of apes and men The culmination of Darwin's research. 2008.  1 streaming video file (58 min.). When On the Origin of Species appeared in 1859, it quickly took hold in the popular imagination-but it also glossed over significant and rather disturbing questions. This program explores Darwin's ideas on human evolution, which he developed and made public toward the end of his life. Science interpreter Jim Doherty reveals how Darwin searched for parallels between humans and animals through a diverse array of experiments. Beginning by testing the intelligence of earthworms using Darwin's paper triangle method, Doherty then focuses on the Victorian biologist's observations of monkeys, apes, and children, as well as his interest in the work of French anatomist Guillaume Duchenne, who studied facial musculature and expressions. Original Open University broadcast title: Of Apes and Men. (58 minutes). Streaming video


Origins of change Heredity and mutation. 1988.  1 streaming video file (20 min.). This program introduces the concepts of naturally occurring and artificially induced mutagens, demonstrates how X-radiation and chemical additives can produce genetic mutations, introduces Dr. Maclyn McCarty (one of three researchers who identified DNA as the substance that transformed one variety of Pneumococcus into another), and shows how DNA is extracted and precipitated. After viewing the program, students should understand why Drosophila melanogaster is so well-suited to genetic investigation, how mutation can be induced by chemicals, and how inherited variation is the result of a change in the genetic code of DNA. (20 minutes). Streaming video


Out of Asia New theories on evolution. 1997.  1 streaming video file (50 min.). The common consensus among anthropologists is that modern man emerged from Africa. This program examines new evidence that disputes this theory and alleges that simultaneous to the emergence of Homo erectus in Africa, there were also groups of Homo erectus in Australia. Was there an earlier diaspora that predates the African migration? Is there a single, linear evolution from Homo erectus to modern man, or is it possible that there were various strains and that evolution is a result of hybridization? Does Java Man, dated as living two million years ago, refute the Africa theory? A BBC Production. (50 minutes).  Streaming video


Periodic table. 1985.  1 streaming video file (21 min.). The millions of different substances that make up the world can be reduced to a comparatively small number of chemical elements. These, arranged in order of their atomic number, form the Periodic Table. This program from the BBC archives provides a comprehensive overview of the development of the table. It discusses the work of John Dalton, Johann Dobereiner, and John Newland, and the creation of the first table by Dmitri Mendeleyev in the late 19th century. Later refinements by Henry Moseley, and the 1950s discovery of the artificial element #93 by Edwin MacMillan, are also discussed. The evolution of the table over the past two centuries is clearly and cleverly illustrated through computer animation and song. A BBC Production. (21 minutes). Streaming video


The population picture. 92.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). Returning to the larger themes of organic evolution, we again use the Hardy-Weinberg model, focusing on how the equilibrium of a population may be disturbed. Stabilizing, directional, and disruptive evolutionary phenomena are examined and we touch on the theory of random genetic drift. (10 minutes). Streaming video


Race the power of an illusion. 2003.  1 videodisc (168 min.). Part 1 of 3 'Race - The power of an illusion series' "Everyone can tell a Nubian from a Norwegian, so why not divide people into races? 'The difference between us' demonstrates how recent scientific discoveries have toppled the concept of biological race. Much of the program is devoted to understanding why. Looking at skin color differences, disease, human evolution, even genetic traits, we learn there's not one characteristic, one trait, or even a single gene that distinguishes all members of one 'race' from another. One by one, our myths about race - including 'natural' superiority and inferiority - are taken apart.". Part 2 of 3 'Race - The power of an illusion' "Questions the belief that race has always been with us. Ancient peoples stigmatized 'others' based on language, custom and especially religion, but they did not sort people into 'races.' The program traces the race concept to the European conquest of the Americas, including the development of the first slave system where all slaves shared a physical trait - dark skin. Ironically, it wasn't until slavery was challenged on moral grounds that early prejudices - emboldened by the need to defend slavery in a nation that professed a deep belief in freedom - crystallized into a full-blown ideology of white supremacy. By the mid-19th century, race had become the 'commonsense' wisdom of white America, explaining everything from individual behavior to the fate of whole societies. 'The story we tell' reveals the startling story of how social inequalities came to be disguised as 'natural.'. Part 3 of 3 'Race - The power of an illusion' " Explores the history of race perceptions and behaviors towards races in the United States, within the context of recent scientific discoveries which have have toppled the concept of biological race. This segment focuses on how institutions shape and create race, giving different groups vastly unequal life chances. After World War II, whiteness increasingly meant owning a home in the suburbs, aided by discriminatory federal policies. European "ethnics" blended in to reap the advantages of whiteness while African Americans and other nonwhites were locked out. Advances have been made since the Civil Rights Movement but the playing field is still not level. DVD 5001 and Streaming video


The record of the rocks. 88.  1 streaming video file (20 min.). This program shows the process of sedimentation, which has preserved those life forms extant at the time the rock was formed and-most strikingly where the Colorado River has cut through the Grand Canyon-exposes a veritable history of life on earth; presents the stratified evidence that simple organisms populated the earth first, followed by increasingly complex forms; demonstrates modern techniques for dating rock samples; and explains why fossils provide important evidence of the theory of evolution. After viewing the program, students should understand the mechanisms that made possible the Colorado River rock record, where the oldest and youngest rocks are and why, how the absolute age of rocks is determined, and the nature and extent of the record provided by rocks. (20 minutes).  Streaming video


Ribosomal RNA The protein maker. 84.  1 streaming video file (10 min.). Ribosomal RNA and protein make up the ribosome, a complicated two-part machine that monitors the interaction between messenger RNA and transfer RNA. As explained in this program, the mutations that result from the faulty replication of a DNA code are usually harmful, but they are also believed to be the basis of evolution. (10 minutes). Streaming video