A wide-ranging introduction to extinction and its place in the history of life, for beginners.
Extinction - not just loss of life but the disappearance of entire species - is forever. Whatever happened to groups such as trilobites, ammonites and mammoths? Were they victims of a sudden catastrophe or a gradual demise? Did a meteorite really kill off the dinosaurs? In some mass extinctions, is survival mostly a matter of chance - more good luck than good genes? Other topics include early ideas on extinction, how to identify fossils of extinct groups, and the influence of humans in recent extinctions.
There will also be a chance to study many real fossils in the teaching room. No previous background in palaeontology, biology or geology is needed for the course and no reading is required in advance. You are very welcome to bring along any of your own fossil specimens which you would like to be identified or which you think are of special interest.
Maximum number of places available: 25