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Garden of Eden

Program Overview


NOVA travels to and explores the diversity of the Seychelles islands off the coast of Africa and considers how the wildlife there evolved.

The program:

  • shows how the Seychelles' central granitic islands were once part of the heart of Gondwanaland before breaking away from present-day India as it slid past Madagascar about 160 million years ago.

  • looks at some of the hundreds of plant species and thousands of insects that populate the islands, including pitcher plants and leaf insects.

  • tells how 200 years of settlement on the main island has destroyed much of its wildlife.

  • reviews the wildlife on smaller granitic islands nearby, including noddy terns, skinks, and tortoises.

  • speculates how some of the organisms might have come to live at each of the islands.

  • shows how part of the Seychelles islands has formed into the world's largest atoll—a string of four coral islands featuring an enclosed lagoon.

  • provides numerous examples of the cooperative and competitive interplay between and among various Seychelles' plants and animals.

Teacher's Guide
Garden of Eden
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