Segments in this Video

Introduction: Awakening: Australia's First 4 Billion Years (03:27)


This segment orients viewers to Australia's ancient geological history and evolution of life with excerpts from the program. (Sponsors)

Deep Time (04:00)

Travel back 4 billion years as Dr. Richard Smith highlights markers in Australia's history.

Cosmic Violence (03:10)

Learn how the Earth was formed. The Earth is still trying to cool, and the continents continue to move.

Hadean Era (03:26)

Smith travels to Jack Hills, Western Australia to learn about date stamping. Microscopic crystals of zircon date rocks to the earliest days of the Earth.

Archean Era (03:06)

Learn about the time period rich in water, clouds, and raw geology but almost devoid of oxygen. Smith visits the crater of Wolfe Creek, Western Australia.

3.8 Billion Years ago (02:44)

The moon's craters reveal that the astrological bombardment slowed around this time. In the oceans, the earliest stages of life were growing.

Shark Bay's Living Rock (03:34)

Smith travels to Western Australia to witness the tough environment that inspired life.

Late Archean Era (03:20)

Smith visits Marble Bar, Western Australia to observe fossilized stromatolites.

Oxygen on Earth (03:27)

Stromatolites released the first oxygen into the water, which combined with iron to cause rust. Smith observes bands of rust in the rock and visits an iron ore mine.

Proterozoic Era (03:40)

Oxygen began flooding into the atmosphere. The Earth had a supercontinent called Rodinia. The first seaweeds and sponges appeared at this time.

Cryogenian Era (03:31)

Two great waves of glaciation give this period its name. Smith visits Flinders Ranges, South Australia to see evidence of the most severe ice ages in the planet's history.

Tectonic Plates (01:55)

Furious volcanic eruptions primed the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and the Earth thawed.

Ediacaran Era (02:47)

Fossil evidence shows that multi-cellular animals existed in this time. Learn about the Dickinsonia and Spriggina creatures.

Cambrian Era (02:14)

Learn about the Gondwana supercontinent.

Cambrian Explosion (03:05)

The oceans were filled with an abundance and diversity of life. Smith travels to Kangaroo Island, South Australia to find arthropod fossils.

Redlichia (02:01)

Learn about the largest trilobite and it's even larger predator, Anomalocaris.

Australian Rocky Landmarks (02:36)

The Peterman Mountain Range slowly eroded away and the sediment created well-known landmarks that remain today.

Cambrian Australia (00:58)

Life on Earth remained in the water until the end of the Cambrian time period.

Credits: Awakening: Australia's First 4 Billion Years (01:36)

Credits: Awakening: Australia's First 4 Billion Years

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Awakening: Australia's First 4 Billion Years

Part of the Series : Australia's First 4 Billion Years
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of Earth’s birth, how life arose and how it transformed the planet into the world we now live in. Experts unveil the earliest forms of life: an odd assortment of bacterial slime. Life like this would flood the atmosphere with oxygen and spark the biological revolution that conquered the planet. Travel with NOVA and host Dr. Richard Smith to meet the cast in the first scenes of the great drama of life on earth.

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL58715

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.