The course is focused on how life may have originated introducing important group of unfamiliar organisms. Particularly the following subjects will be considered: explosion of life early in the Paleozoic Era; diversification of plants and animals on terrestrial habitats; mass extinction events and radiations; interactivity between the physical-geodynamic and biological components of the Earth.
The student will understand the origin of the world in which we are living. The origin of life and its diversifications. An up-to-date view of the greatest mass extinction moments and the subsequent radiations. The student will also achieve the key role of geologic processes in global change resulted from plate tectonic movements.
Early life and its patterns: the record of early life Prokaryotes Eukaryotes The origin of mineralised skeletons Major mass extinctions and their aftermath: Historical background, periodicity of mass extinctions, terminology, extinction mechanisms, causes of the extinctions the end-Ordovician events; the late-Devonian events; the Permo-Triassic events; the Late Triassic events; The Cenomanian-Turonian events; The K-T events; the Eocene-Oligocene events Integration with climate changes and geodynamic events.