Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles
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assignment Level : Introductive
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
language Subtitles : Romanian, German
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verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 12 hours in total

About the content

Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles is a four-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary changes that occur when air-breathing terrestrial animals return to water. This course examines the diversity, adaptations, convergence, and phylogenetic relationships of extinct marine reptiles. Students will explore three major groups of marine reptiles: ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs. Watch a preview of the course here:

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  • Week 1 - Introduction to Marine Reptiles
    Welcome to the first lesson of Palaeontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles. In this lesson we will explore the main theme of the course: the aquatic problem. In other words, what happens when a terrestrial animal returns to the water permanently? How do air-breathi...
  • Week 2 - Ichthyopterygians
    Welcome back! We hope that you enjoyed the first lesson of the Ancient Marine Reptiles mini MOOC. In lesson one, we discussed a variety of modern and extinct groups of aquatic amniotes. Some of these groups would have been familiar to you, and some you had pro...
  • Week 3 - Sauropterygians
    Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed the lesson on ichthyopterygians, the first of three in depth explorations of an extinct marine reptile group that we will cover. In this lesson you learned that ichthyosaurs are among the most specialized reptiles that ever li...
  • Week 4 - Mosasauroids
    Welcome to the final lesson in Palaeontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles. The lesson you just finished gave you an in depth look at one of the most morphologically disparate groups of marine tetrapods to ever live. There were the turtle-shaped placodonts with cru...


Michael Caldwell
Department of Biological Sciences

Halle P. Street
Sessional Instructor
Faculty of Science


Content Designer

University of Alberta
UAlberta is considered among the world’s leading public research- and teaching-intensive universities. As one of Canada’s top universities, we’re known for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences.



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