Virtual Paleobotany Lab

The Evolution of Plants Through Geologic Time

Photosynthetic organisms are responsible for the air we breath, and for shaping our environment. The Virtual Paleobotany Lab was developed to support a course offered by Dr. Nan Arens at the University of California, Berkeley. The course traced the history of green plants using information from the fossil record and from living plants, covering the origin of photosynthesis in the Proterozoic, the colonization of the land, the evolution of seeds, the origin of flowers, and the extinctions and diversification that generated the modern flora. It also examined the ecological and evolutionary relationships of plants to each other and to their evolving animal companions, all within the context of shifting continents and changing climate through time.

Background in botany, plant ecology, and geology is helpful.

Virtual Paleobotanical Laboratory -- Directory
Getting Started -- How the VPL Works
What do you think about the Virtual Laboratory?
UC Museum of Paleontology

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