The history of our bones – Innovations and novelty (1996)

Simon Conway Morris

Fossils are used to explore the origin of animals and their development afterwards with Simon Conway Morris.

Watch time: 59:37
Simon Conway Morris holding a fossil in the Ri theatre
Image credit: Royal Institution

Lecture 4 – Innovations and novelty

In this demo–packed CHRISTMAS LECTURE, Conway Morris takes the audience through the Cambrian explosion, which marks a significant appearance of animal fossil remains.

Fossils from this period help scientists understand how creatures evolved into today's mammals such as whales and he even uses a giant millipede to explain fossil markings.


Palaeontologist Simon Conway Morris delivers five lectures on the important role fossils and bones play in helping us understand the past. 

In this set of engaging lectures and demonstrations from Conway Morris, he explains how fossils' markings have helped humans piece together the history of the planet.

There's an exploration of pre-historic creatures and dinosaurs including what caused their extinction. As well as a look at how life and mammals developed after this time and how we can trace our ancestry back more than 3 billion years.