The history of our bones – Staring into the abyss (1996)

Simon Conway Morris

An introduction into fossils and how they can share the secrets of the past with Simon Conway Morris.

Watch time: 59:19
 Simon Conway Morris in the Ri theatre
Image credit: Royal Institution

Lecture 1 – Staring into the abyss

In this CHRISTMAS LECTURE, palaeontologist Conway Morris takes the audience through various skulls of animals from different eras and locations including the Tyrannosaurus rex, the sabre-toothed tiger and the horseshoe crab.

Later he demonstrates how the earth has slowed down, what it means, and how this is reflected in fossils.


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.