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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – Episode 9
“Earth could have been called The Planet of the Dead”
1. What was unusually abundant in the Earth’s atmosphere during the
carboniferous period? ______________________________
What effect did that have on insects?
What was responsible for this abundance?
2. Lignin pro/s (good)
Lignin con/s (bad)
3. When this tree was alive, it took in ______________________________ and
water… and gave of ______________________________ as a waste product.
When plants die, they decompose, putting ____________________________
back into the air.
4. The buried forests eventually became the source of a natural pollution:
toxic and radioactive ash known as “________________ ________________”.
5. The destabilized atmosphere brought about alternating extremes of
heat and cold, but allowed one kind of bacteria to flourish. But it
produced deadly ________________________ ________________________ gas.
6. In The Great Dying ______ of every 10 species perished.
7. Sixteenth-century cartographer, Abraham Ortelius and 20th-century
Alfred Wegener believed in ______________________________ drift.
8. Scientists have blind spots and prejudices. Science is a mechanism for
A. amplifying the effect of these human characteristics.
B. minimizing the effect of these human characteristics.
C. relying on these traits for the advancement of understanding.
D. altering humans to remove these traits from future generations.
9. The light at this depth is provided by bio____________________________.
10. What keeps the mantle hot? (Check all that are correct.)
__heat left over from the Earth’s formation
__the decay of radioactive elements in the core
__extreme pressure beneath the Earth’s crust
__the continuous bombardment of cosmic radiation
11. Our sense of the stability of the Earth
A. arises from straight-forward observation of the geological record.
B. came from Marie Tharp’s determination to prove Wegener’s theory.
C. is a hallucination due to pharmaceutical agents in our ground water.
D. an illusion due to the shortness of our lives.
12, Wherever you walk on Earth, lost worlds lie
13, After a 170-million year run, dinosaurs succumbed to the catastrophes
of the late Cretaceous. That’s when Earth became Planet of the
14. The Earth has shaped the course of ____________________
____________________. But so has the pull of distant worlds.
15. Which two planets altered the tilt of the Earth’s axis and shape of its
orbit? ______________________________ and ______________________________
16. The gentle climate of the present interglacial period is threatened by
17. The unlabeled corridor in the Halls of Extinction: What happens here, in
countless ways, both large and small, will be written by (whom and