Simon's Earth Evolution Part 2 (All the words!)

Now you can listen to and read along, with Simon's "Earth Evolution"  Part Two!


(When you see C: that is Chloe the computer talking, and MV is MetaVerse One the Bus)

 

Whoa, unreal Batmobile! 

We're already back in space, and the timer is down to 700 million years ago. 

I'd love to have your remote control Chloe, 

We've just jumped forward 2 billion years, and I can't even work out how to fast forward to the end of a movie on my TV! 

 

You'll be glad we're up here and not down there on the earth right now. 

Can you see in your mind that it doesn't even look like the earth? 

It's completely covered in ice, and it looks like a giant snowball. 

It's definitely Snow place like home, but it does look cool! 

That's what a proper ice age looks like, and this one lasts for 15 million years. 

Oh wow, Chloe has hit the fast forward again. 

Can you guess what's breaking through the sheets of ice all over the planet? 

If you guessed volcanoes, you would be right on the money honey! 

Volcanoes are popping up everywhere, and they're pumping enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to trap the sun's rays and melt the ice. 

 


Hang on a minute! 

I just realised why the bus stop was on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. 

Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano, and it looks like volcanoes had a big effect on how our world turned out. 

And, we started this adventure in deep space, just what the telescopes on Mauna Kea are looking at every night. 

 

C: 

That is correct. 

The placement of the bus stop, will reflect one or more elements of the coming adventure. 

Your powers of observation and deduction, are developing nicely Simon. 

 

Thanks Chloe, but you know me. 

If I stand on the edge of a cliff, I just want to get to the bottom of it! 

 

Now I don't know if my math skills are developing nicely or not, but if my adding up is right, the earth has been around for 3 and a half billion years and there's still no animals or people. 

This planet's been giving life the cold shoulder for sure, but I reckon things might be going to change soon. 

 

C: 

Change may be something of an understatement. 

This is the beginning of a 300 million year time period, known as The Cambrian Explosion, of life. 

 

Oh yeah this is where we really find out what life can do if you give it enough time and lots of luck. 

Let me give you the short, sharp, and shiny version of what happens next. 

 

I call it,  "300 million years of Evolution's Awesome Jobs or Epic Fails." 

Could you please call out the times for me Chloe? 

 

C: 

Certainly Simon. 

525 million years ago. 

 

Awesome Job number 1! 

Underneath all that ice, those tough little bacteria have evolved into plants that grow on the seabed, then jellyfish appear in the ocean along with a stack of hard shelled animals complete with claws and legs and mouths. 

Go lobsters! 

 

C: 

450 million years ago 

 

Awesome Job number 2! 

Plants start growing on the land! Cool! 

And just when things were going well... 

 

C: 

444 million years ago 

 

Epic Fail number 1! 

85% of all the sea creatures disappear and we don't know why, nope, haven't got the foggiest, not a clue. 

 

C: 

419 million years ago 

 

Awesome Job number Evolutions 4! 

Crazy numbers of fish appear, and sharks and scorpions and crawling insects and coral reefs. 

 

C: 

370 million years ago 

 

Awesome Job number 5, and this is a biggie! 

A few adventurous fish dragged themselves out of the ocean and over the next million years or so, developed stronger lungs and legs and called themselves tetra-pods. 

Those tetrapods are the ancestors of pretty well anything with 4 limbs that lives on the earth, including you and me! 

 

C: 

360 million years ago 

 

Hold onto your hat because here comes...... Epic Fail number 2! 

Most of the sea creatures disappear, again. 

This time we're pretty sure the volcanoes were the cause, they got carried away and poisoned the water. 

Yeah, nice one volcanoes! (Sarcastic) 

 

320 million years ago 

 

Awesome Job number 6! 

Say hello to the reptiles and the amphibians, oh, that's me, I'm an amphibian! It's about time my rellies showed up! 

 

C: 

252 million years ago 

 

 

Everything was evolving very nicely thank you… and then...Uh Oh, spaghetti oh!  

Epic Fail Number 3! 

This is the Numero Uno, biggest, most bizarre extinction event ever. 

95% of the worlds species are gone, and all because those volcanoes blew their tops again, and that: 

  

  • changed the weather,  

  • and the sea levels  

  • and started acid rain falling. 

 

Man those volcanoes really need to chillout! 

I gotta tell you though, if I had to use one word to describe life on earth, it would be bullet-proof! 

Oh yeah, that's 2 words, but you know what I mean. 

Even when it got frozen solid, or poisoned by volcanoes or drenched with acid rain, it still had more Awesome Jobs than Epic fails!  

I bet Hollywood is glad that life never gave up, because it's about to produce some of its biggest movie stars. 

 

C:  

It is now 250 million years ago, the beginning of the Mesozoic era. 

This era can be sub-divided into the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. 

 

The Mesozoic era, sub-divided into the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods! 

Chloe, does that mean what I think it means? 

 

C: 

Simon, unfortunately, I do not have my mind-reading algorithm installed. 

Please tell me what you think it is, and then I will be able to answer your question. 

 

I think it means, we are about to open the doors for the dino-saurs! 

 

C: 

Simon, you are 50% correct. 

The Mesozoic era, corresponds with the 180 million year time period, where dinosaurs were the dominant life form on the planet. 

However, I am not aware of any doors that we are required to open for them. 

 

No dramas Chloe, just an expression. 

Oh wow, can you see in your mind that the earth looks much more like it does now, except that 250 million years ago there's no separate continents. 

All of the land is joined together in one huge continent called Pangea.  

It stretches all the way from the top to the bottom of the planet. 

Oh good one, Chloe's taking us down to the surface and it looks like we're headed to the left hand side of Pangea, half way between the equator and the south pole. 

This looks a lot like my own rainforest back home. 

There's ferns, palm trees, and even conifers, the ones with needle shaped leaves. 

We're hovering about one and a half metres above the ground so we have a really good view. 

Chloe, any chance we could drop the top, and turn this flying hot rod into a prehistoric convertible?  

 

C: 

As the oxygen level of the atmosphere is currently 20%, I will be happy to comply with your request. 

Please be aware that the cabin temperature so far, has been an optimum 22 degrees Celsius. 

The external temperature however, is 30 degrees Celsius with a humidity rating of 85%. 

Removing dome now. 

 

Holy heatwave! 

Welcome to hot and sticky-ville. 

Just like back home in the middle of summer, except, my rainforest doesn't have dinosaurs in it, like the one that just walked under us! 

Can you see it, over on the left hand side. 

It's only a metre tall, and it looks like a mini-me version of a T-Rex with a slightly longer neck. 

That is an Eoraptor for sure.  

Scientists reckon it was the first real dinosaur ever. 

I'm glad we're up here, he's little, but he'd take one look at me and think "dinner time". 

 

C: 

We have moved forwards 45 million years, and are now close to the end of the Triassic period. 

You may be interested in observing the group of reptiles, that are walking towards  you. 

 

Mamma Mia! 

Try not to get freaked out, but there's a very weird group of reptiles walking towards us. 

Each one of them is at least 3 metres tall, and they look like a cross between a crocodile and a T-rex. 

That's a bit scary, because they're basically an enormous crocodile that can run really fast, on its back legs! 

They're not dinosaurs though, they're Pseudosuchians, and until the end of this Triassic period, these guys are the ones in charge, not the dinosaurs, in fact they hunt and eat the smaller dinosaurs. 

Chloe, would you mind taking us up a bit higher,  I wouldn't mind being a bit further away from those oversized crocs. 

 

C: 

Of course. 

Relocating, to 500 metres, above ground level. 

 

Oh nice one Chloe, that was like instant, very cool! 

Literally, it does feel a bit cooler up here. 

 

C: 

You are detecting a difference of 3 degrees Celsius. 

Air temperature will drop 6.5 degrees, for every 1000 metres you ascend in the atmosphere. 

 

10-4 on that good buddy. 

I'm also detecting some seriously sensational flying reptiles up here. 

I bet you've already guessed I'm talking about Pterodactyls! 

They're not the huge Pterodactyls you've seen in the movies, these are the first ones to ever appear on the earth. 

They're about the same size as a seagull, but the seagulls at my beach don't have teeth like that! 

Their curved wings look like they're covered in leathery skin and they have a long tail trailing out of the back. 

Oh wow, we're close enough to see that their body is also covered in very short fur. 

How's this for a freaky fact? 

Pterodactyls aren't dinosaurs either, nope, they're flying reptiles. 

If you want to be a Dinosaur when you grow up, you have to live on the land and not in the water, you don't fly, and you can't have legs that stick out to the side like a lizard or a crocodile. 

 

I lost my pet dinosaur once and my Mum said "why don't you put an ad in the newspaper?" 

I said "That won't help, he's a dinosaur, he can't read!" 

Do you know what a dinosaur calls a porcupine? 

A toothbrush! 

What's red on the outside and green on the inside? 

A dinosaur wearing red pyjamas! 

 

I must say, the best thing about being up so high is that you can see things way off in the distance, and I am not liking what I'm seeing or hearing. 

Can you hear that distant rumbling, and see the pillars of smoke rising up into the atmosphere? 

Ay Chihuahua! 

The ground down there is actually cracking open and molten rock is starting to seep out. 

I thought so, Chloe has us on fast forward, see how the numbers are going down quickly on the dashboard timer? 

It's 202 million years ago and Pangea, this one huge continent, is splitting into 2 parts. 

And what a coincidence, that stirred up our old friends, the volcanoes….. again! 

 

(Voice of MV1) 

The Mobile Museum will be closing, in approximately 6 minutes. 

Please bring your visit to a close, as soon as possible. 

Have a nice day! 

 

Did you hear that? 

That was MV. 

Chloe, did he say closing in 6 minutes? 

But I haven't seen my favourite-ist dinosaurs yet.  

 

C: 

This is a function of the self-preservation and safety algorithm that is built into the system. 

Let me explain. 

Utilizing dark energy in a parallel universe, is currently the only way to supply this vehicle with the fuel it requires to function at an optimal level. 

However, the onboard conversion unit can experience fragmentation, at a sub atomic level, if it's temporal resistance framework is exceeded. 

 

Say what? 

 

C: 

If we stay here for too long, the bus will explode.  

 

Explode, as in blow up? 

In that case, what are we waiting for? 

Let's put some wax on these tracks! 

I'll just watch a documentary about the Velociraptors and Triceratops and T-Rex's when I get home, no worries. 

If anyone can fit 100 million years into 6 minutes it's you Chloe! 

 

C: 

Thank you Simon. 

I will relocate you immediately to an observation position in space. 

This will require reinstalling the dome, on your craft. 

We have by-passed the Jurassic period, and are now at the very end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. 

 

65 million years ago? 

That's asteroid extinction time, and that's why Chloe has taken us up into space. 

We've got a front row seat to the disaster that puts an end to 75% of life on our planet including the dinosaurs, but it's the start of everything else. 

You'll be very glad that we're up here in our flying saucer, with the top back on, because things are about to heat up down there on the earth, literally! 

There it is, over on our right hand side. 

That asteroid is as big as Mount Everest, it's flying through space at 60,000 kph, and 

it's headed straight towards the bottom end of Mexico. 

Oh wow, it only took a couple of seconds to pass through the atmosphere and it hit the ocean at 60 times the speed of sound. 

Check out that gigantic explosion. 

It's so powerful, there are now giant earthquakes happening, and tsunami waves a kilometre high. 

Forest fires breaking out everywhere, sending extra smoke up to join the smoke from the explosion. 

Before long, sunlight can't even reach the surface through the polluted atmosphere. 

At least we can't blame the volcanoes this time! 

That one asteroid has destroyed 75% of life on the surface, and in the oceans, but not all of it. 

I don't know about you, but I could do with a bit of cheering up after that disaster. 

 

C: 

I shall move the adventure, to 200,000 years ago. 

The dying out of the dinosaurs, allowed small mammals to survive, evolve into much bigger mammals, and eventually take over the land. 

These range from bats, pigs, and cats, to giraffes, great apes, hippos, zebras, and dogs.  

There are also reptiles, such as crocodiles and alligators and thousands of bird species. 

 

Sounds like the key to surviving in this crazy world is being able to change. 

 

C: 

Congratulations Simon, you have just described the entire theory of evolution. 

 

Eh Chloe, I just noticed what looks like a human being, walking through the trees over on the left hand side, carrying a spear and an axe. 

 

C: 

That is correct. 

Various types of humans started to appear, after evolving from the great apes, as early as 1.9 million years ago. 

The being you have detected, is described as a modern human, a homo-sapien. 

It is the result of 1.7 million years of constant evolution, or changes if you prefer. 

 

I know the palaeontologists say we came from the apes, but I reckon we evolved from crabs. 

Just think about it. 

Have you ever picked up a pair of tongs in the kitchen and NOT clicked them together?  

I rest my case. 

 

C: 

Simon, that concept makes no sense from a scientific perspective.  

I will assume, it was another attempt at being funny. 

 

Good guess Chloe, you're bang on target. 

I just had a thought. 

I hope these ancient humans don't spot us. 

They'd think we were aliens from another planet. 

 

Did you hear about the man who was captured by extra-terrestrial teddy bears? 

He had a close encounter of the furred kind! 

What's the difference between an alien and a cookie?  

Have you ever tried dunking an alien in your milk? 

What do you get when you cross an alien with something white and fluffy? 

A Martian-mallow! 

 

Check it out! 

That modern human doesn't just have a family, he's got a whole tribe. 

It looks like they're all carrying something and heading off together into the distance. 

 

C: 

If you check the date readout you will see that it now says 60,000 years ago. 

This is the time when Modern humans left Africa and started to spread across the world. 

 

See you guys, good luck wherever you're headed. 

Ok, so it seems like the recipe to make a world filled with people, animals, fish and birds is: 

  • Take a few single cell bacteria, 

  •  mix in some meteors and volcanoes,  

  • drop in a huge asteroid for flavour,  

  • add lots of luck, and let it stand for a few billion years. 

 

Easy really! 

 

MV1: 

The Mobile Museum is now about to close. 

Please finalise your adventure and make your way to the exit. 

 

C: 

Ending the holographic time adventure in 3, 2, and 1. 

Please climb down from the spacecraft, and exit through the open doorway. 

 

That is unreal banana peel. 

The ancient world has vanished and we're back in the museum warehouse. 

Thanks Chloe, best adventure ever! 

 

C: 

You are welcome. 

 

Ok, let's think about climbing down, and heading out through the opening. 

(Wall morphs in) 

Crikey, that was fast. 

The doorway morphed back into being a wall as soon as we walked through.  

 

MV1: 

Welcome back. 

I trust you enjoyed your Adventure in the Mobile Museum. 

I look forward to being your driver in the future. 

Please exit the bus on the left hand side, and mind the step. 

 

How good is this, we're already back at the bus stop where we started. 

Thanks MV, Adios Amigo! 

 

MV1: 

You are welcome Simon. Hasta la vista!   

 

Now that is one cool A.I, he is definitely going places, literally! 

 

Just before you go, I've got one more joke for you. 

When I went to my local museum the other day, I said to the security guard, "Is it ok if I take a picture." 

He said "No, they have to stay on the wall" 

 

I'll see you next time or as that first Modern Human leaving Africa said to his tribe, "everyone go to the bathroom before we leave, it's going to be a long trip!"  


 

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Science Adventure Stories For Kids is designed to entertain and educate kids at the same time.

Each episode is packed with seriously interesting facts, cool music, sound effects and Simon's jokes!

It also encourages children to constantly notice things around them using all of their senses. 

There are always 3  available as free podcast episodes.

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