8th December 2022: The palaeontology of Arabia: from stromatolites, to the first land plants, to Homo sapiens out of Africa
A talk by Prof Mike Stephenson
In this period of rapid change in climate and environments, scientists are looking for past changes in order to understand more about what may happen in the future.
The fossils in the rocks of Arabia are a unique archive of these changes. They extend from the Precambrian ‘snowball Earth’ of 600 million years ago, to the first land plants 400 million years ago, to dinosaurs 75 million years ago, and to fossils of
Homo sapiens 85 thousand years ago. These fossils tell a story of climate change and evolution that is unrivalled. The talk will chart these changes explaining how they illustrate evolution and climate change and make us think differently about the world of today.
The talk will cover some of the key aspects of the geology and palaeontology of Arabia – how life developed through time and the role of one subcontinent in that story. The talk will bring together the many strands of fossil evolution and climate change focussing on Arabia as a melting pot and conduit in the development of life. The author, Prof Mike Stephenson is a palaeontologist with over 25 years’ experience, with three acclaimed books on the geosciences.