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Welcome to the companion Web site to "The Missing Link," originally broadcast on February 26, 2002. A paleontological tour-de-force and suspenseful scientific detective story, the program documents the search for the ancestor of all four-limbed animals, including humans. Here's what you'll find online:
  • A Brief History of Life
    The first tetrapods or four-legged creatures lived during the Devonian Period. How about the first simple plants? Sharks? Insects? Dinosaurs? Get the answers in our illustrated geologic table.

  • Diva of the Devonian
    Dr. Jenny Clack, a Reader at the University of Cambridge who specializes in the fish-to-tetrapod transition, describes what it was like to mount an expedition to one of the world's most forbidding regions and to discover fossils there that shook up her field.

  • Confessions of a Preparator
    What you should ask for if a genie suddenly appears, why you need to have catalogues of rotten teeth, what you should do if your specimen starts grinning at you, and other valuable tips from crack fossil preparator Sarah Finney.

  • Evolution in Action
    For many, the word "mutation" has a pejorative ring to it. But in nature, random mutations are a driving force of evolution. In this activity, change the environment of "living" things and see how random mutations help them survive the changes you bring about.

Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide

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Photo credits

A Brief History of Life | Diva of the Devonian
Confessions of a Preparator | Evolution in Action
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