Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Hello I’m Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan. I’m a paleontologist based in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Cape Town and I’m interested in reconstructing the biology of extinct animals. Most of what remains of these prehistoric animals are their bones in teeth. Most paleontologists study the anatomy and the biology of these bones, but my research involves looking within the bones - that is the microscopic structure of the bones. I’m standing here in the cycad garden of the National Botanical Gardens at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. These cycads are really special. These plants were around even before dinosaurs ruled the planet. Interestingly enough they survived three of the five big mass extinction events that rocked this planet.
Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds We know also that these plants survived the extinction events and yet today their resilience for survival is again being tested. We know also that it’s not only the cycads that are these relics of a bygone time that are facing extinction threats but many other organisms around the globe. The mounting extinction threats that biodiversity on our planet is facing suggest that we are currently living in the sixth extinction. Join our course and come and learn about the five big mass extinction events that our planet faced and come hear also about the sixth extinction that biodiversity is currently facing. And how the sixth extinction is threatening biodiversity and ecosystems for the future.