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Hello and welcome to our "History lesson." I'm Mr. Hutchinson and we're learning all about prehistoric Britain.

In today's lesson, we're going to be learning about some prehistoric animals, which I find fascinating to learn about.

I love finding out about all the animals that were around in the ice age, in the stone age.

So let's get started.

Our lesson is going to look something like this.

The first thing that we will do is we will learn about an era called the Pleistocene Epoch.

Now this is a new word or two new words.

So let's just practise saying them.

I'm going to say them first, Pleistocene.

Go ahead and say, say it out loud, Pleistocene.


It's a good idea to actually say it out loud, to remember it better: Pleistocene.

And the second word is Epoch, Epoch.

Great work.

Let's put them together, Pleistocene Epoch.

Amazing work.

We're going to learn about what they mean just in a moment.

We'll then learn about how our planet was frozen, how much the planet was frozen.

We'll learn about some different ice age animals, and we're going to play a little game when we do that.

And we'll finished with our end of lesson quiz.

So first of all, let's look at this Pleistocene Epoch.

I use these words and they new words.

It doesn't matter any words, you're really smart.

You're going to learn new words and become clever and clever all the time.

Let's use the proper language.

So, going way back to our timeline, all of time, if this is where we are today, we can go back billions of years, we can go back almost 14 billion years, which is when the universe first began in the Big Bang.

And the earth wasn't formed then until, there's about another 10 billion years.

And the earth was formed about four and a half billion years ago.

The first life on earth appeared about 4 billion years ago.

Each one of these is a billion, each one of these chunks.

So one, two, three, 4 billion years ago, we get the first life.

And remember that was just the microbes that was just in the oceans.

The first life was just this kind of like single cell organisms, really, really tiny.

You wouldn't be able to see them unless under microscope.

That was the first life on earth.

Humans didn't come along until much, much, much, much later, billions of years later.

Let's zoom in just to this billion years here.

So now each chunk represents a hundred million years.

And the Cambrian explosion was when, do you remember what that was? We talked about that in the last lesson.

Do you remember what the Cambrian explosion was? Well done.

The Cambrian explosion, wasn't a real explosion, is a term that we use for when most of the animals on earth suddenly appeared.

And so animals left the ocean, started to sort of like split off into all of the different kinds of species, about 540 million years ago.

Eventually, those reptiles evolve into dinosaurs, that was about 240 million years ago.

And they went extinct about 65 million years ago.

Let's zoom into this little hundred million year period now.

So now each of these represents 10 million because we zoomed right in.

So, 65 Million years ago, what happened? What was the big event 65 million years ago? Excellent.

The dinosaurs became extinct, and that led to the age of the mammals.

So the dinosaurs have gone extinct, now mammals and we're a mammal.

Mammals are much safer from the dinosaurs.

We're not going to get eaten by the dinosaurs.

And so mammals started to develop and evolve and take over all of the earth 65 million years ago.

But it took millions of years still for humans, our species to arrive.

So there were millions of years of other mammals and eventually, humans evolve.

And that was only about two and a half million years ago.

So there's a big gap between the dinosaurs going extinct and humans being around.

Let's zoom in again.

And we'll see that each of these blocks now represents a million years.

And so that's 10 million years ago.

The first humans arriving one, two and a half million years ago.

That's when the first humans arrived.

And Homo sapiens, our species because in the last lesson, we looked at all the different types of early humans, right? And there are different kinds of humans.

We are called Homo sapiens, that's the type of human that we are.

And we didn't appear until about 300,000 years ago.

So even there was a long period of different kinds of humans that weren't us.

And then our type of human arrived about 300,000 years ago.

And this period about from when the first humans were around, up until about 10,000 years ago is called the Pleistocene Epoch.

That's that word that we used earlier.

So the Pleistocene is a word we use to describe that period of time.

And there's something special about that period of time.

Not just that humans were around, but there was an ice age.

So the Pleistocene Epoch means the ice age, because from about two and a half million years ago to about 10,000 years ago, there was a huge ice age, all over earth.

The planet looked very different.

So, let's test your knowledge.

Can you answer this question? Another name for the Pleistocene Epoch is: A: The age of the mammals.

B: The ice age.

C: The dinosaur age or D: The stone age.

Choose your answer.

You can put your finger on it.

You can write it out if you'd like to, pause the video and write it out, or you can just put your finger on the screen.

Are you ready? The ice age.

Well done if you said the ice age.

The Pleistocene Epoch is the ice age.

What's the Pleistocene Epoch? Great work.

What's another name for the ice age? The Pleistocene Epoch.

Well done.

You already know some new technical vocabulary.

You're very, very clever, and I'm very impressed with you.

So, there was this ice age, our planet was frozen.

This is what our planet looks like now, okay? This is a map of our planet now with some satellite images.

And you can see all of the different places.

So this is, what's this called? North America, good.

What's this called? South America, good.

What's this called? Africa, good.

Point to Europe.

Excellent, Europe is here.

Can you find Great Britain, where we live? Excellent, is here.

Can you see Russia? Can you point to Russia? Well done, Russia is this big country here and it goes off into Asia, which is this part of the continent here.

You can see that there's a sort of gap in Asia over here.

Australia sort of a little bit off the view here.

So that's what our planet looks like now, but it hasn't always looked like that.

Our planet over the millions and billions of years, has shifted and changed.

The continents have collided, split apart, moved.

And the climate has been very different.

How hot or cold the planet is, is fluctuating over those millions of years.

Fluctuating means changing, going up and down over this millions of years.

Which means that the planet used to look like this.

A few million years ago during the Pleistocene Epoch, the planet would look like this.

Now, what do you notice? What can you see? Well done.

You might notice that there's so much ice across the top of the planet, around the North pole.

Now there is some sea ice around the North pole now, but it's much, much larger.

Now, let's imagine we've got planet earth, I've got something.

Let's imagine this is planet earth.

And if I'm imagining, I look from the top down.

So I'm looking down on the earth at the North pole, I'll show you a picture of what that looks like.

So it's covered in ice sheets.

Oh, sorry, another name for ice sheets.

I almost forgot to tell you this and it's very important.

And another name for ice sheets is glacial sheets.

You need to know that.

what's another name for ice sheets? Well done, I always forgot, but you won't, well done.

Ice sheet or glacial sheets.

That's what these things are, that are sort of covering the top of the earth here, they're called glacial sheets.

And this is what the earth looks like, if we are looking from the top down, we can see the different continents there.

So we can see North America, and we can see Russia that we looked at here, and we can see Europe.

Here's Great Britain, here, can you see it? If you look closely and see Great Britain.

And these blue bits are those ice sheets.

And you'll notice that the ice sheets are covering a lot of Russia, and a lot of Europe.

And almost all of Great Britain where we live.

So that means that during the Pleistocene Epoch, during the ice age, most of Britain was covered in ice sheets, in glacial sheets.

This picture here shows you those ice sheets in grey.

So all of these grey bits, can you point to them, these are ice sheets.

And you can see that a lot of the continent of North America and the continent of Europe are covered in those ice sheets.

Now there's no those ice sheets aren't there today.

And in Great Britain, there are big ice sheets all over the place, but there was in the ice age, almost all of Britain was covered.

So let's see now, if you can have a look at a map of today, plot on where the ice sheets were back in the ice age.

So I'll put it up there, so you've got it.

You've got those great ice sheets.

What I'd like you to do now is I'd like you to sketch the world.

So sketch the world: Sketch Africa, sketch South American, North America, Great Britain, Europe.

You have to look closely.

Sketch the world and then once you've done that, can you draw the ice sheets on.

So look where the grey areas are here and put them onto this map that you've drawn here.

And that way you'll know where all of the ice sheets were during the Pleistocene Epoch.

So pause the video, and write all of the ice sheets on now.

Awesome work.

I'm sure that your map looks beautiful and you've carefully got those ice sheets.

Where you looking carefully up at that diagram to make sure that your ice sheets are in exactly that say right location.

Great work, well done.

So during the Pleistocene Epoch, things looked different.

And the animals were different.

So there were different animals around in this era.

Lots of them have gone extinct, but some of them are still extant.

What do those words mean? Let's have a look.

Extinct means that all of the animals have died out, okay? So if we say something as extinct, it means there are none of those animals left, they've all died out.

So the dinosaurs are extinct.

There were no dinosaurs left, they went extinct 65 years ago.

Now the opposite of extinct is extant.

And extant means that there are still members of this animal group that are alive today.

Humans or extant, okay? There is still humans around everywhere.

You can go and find them, you can see them.

You are one.

We are extant.

So some animals are extant they're still around, and some animals are extinct, they're not around anymore.

Can you match the term with its definition? So write out extant and then write out the definition.

To be definitions on the right here.

Write out the correct definition next to extant, and then do the same for extinct.

Write extinct, and then write the definition.

Pause the video and do that now.

Great work.

Let's see if you are correct.

So extant means that there are still members of the animal group that are alive today, and extinct means all of the animals have died out.

So let's give it a try.

Let's see if you know which animals are extinct and extant.

There's one animal, and there's another animal.

One of those animals is extinct, is not around anymore, and another one at the animal is his extant.

Can you match? You might want to sketch them.

That would be a cool thing to do.

You might want to sketch the animals and then write if they're extinct or extant, or you can just use your finger to trace it and draw the lines.

Okay, you should have either matched them up or sketch the pictures yourself.

So this is a parrot and this parrot is extant, they're still around.

You can go to the rainforest and find these.

And these are some dinosaurs and they are extinct.

They're not around anymore.

What about this animal? Let's play a little game called extinct or extant.

So this animal, is this animal extinct or is it extant? Is it no longer around? There's no members of this animal around, or, are there still members of this animal family around? Choose, choose, choose.

Well done if you said extant, this is a kind of fox.

And this is extant, you can still find these animals are still around.

Let's try another one.

What about this animal, extinct or extant? Choose, choose, choose.

Well done if you said extinct.

This is called a smilodon, we're going to find out about this in a moment.

But this is called a smilodon and then no longer around.

There are none of them in the world, they've gone extinct.

What about this animal, extinct or extant? Well done if you said extant, this is a rhinoceros and there are still these rhinoceroses around.

There are few different types of rhinoceroses.

However, these rhinoceroses are very close to being extinct.

In fact, some people think that they might be extinct in the wild or about to go extinct in the wild.

So the only ones that we have are captured, it may be wildlife reserves or zoos because people are hunting them very sadly.

Poachers are killing them to take their horns away from them.

And so, although they are currently extant, they may well be extinct very soon.

What about this animal, extinct or extant? Well done if you use that extinct, this is called a dodo.

That's what the animal is called.

It's not, there's a bird that's called a dodo, or you might have heard sometimes people saying "Dead as a dodo." So dodo is a bird went extinct relatively recently in the last few hundred years.

So what are some of the ice age animals that have gone extinct, but that were around in Britain and around the world during the ice age, during the Pleistocene Epoch.

Well, first of all, we've already said you might've seen a smilodon.

Here you can see a smilodon.

Another name for it is a saber-toothed tiger or a saber-tooth cats.

But its scientific name as a smilodon.

They had these really long canine teeth they could use to attack their prey.

They mainly lived in North America and South America, but there is some evidence that there were smilodons in Britain.

There's some evidence, especially in Cannes, that there were some smilodons in Britain.

They live from about two and a half million years ago until about 10,000 years ago.

And 10,000 years ago is the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, cause when the ice age stopped and the planet started to warm.

It's also the time that humans were starting to move into these areas much more.

And so most scientists think that these animals, these Pleistocene Epoch animals, they went extinct A: Because the climate was changing and B: Because humans were getting much better at hunting, and that humans may have hunted them to extinction.

So the climate changing meant that they probably had less things to eat, they had fewer things to eat.

And weren't adapted to the new climate and also humans hunting, including the smilodon.

Have a look at this creature.

This is called a megatherium, or it's sometimes known as a giant ground sloth.

So you might have seen sloths already.

sloths are extant.

So they're still alive today.

And they are those small sort of like bare like creatures with long hooked sort of nails.

And they have a bit of a reputation for being very lazy, for sleeping all the time.

They eat, eat, eat sleep, sleep, sleep.

And they tend to hang in trees.

But they're very small, you could hold them in your hands.

That's not the case in the Pleistocene Epoch.

They were huge.

So this giant ground sloth might have weighed up to four tonnes and being six metres in length.

That's about the same weight and size as an elephant.

So it's a sloth, but it's about the size of an elephant.

And that's true of lots of animals during the ice age, they were huge.

There was sometimes called mega fauna, mega meaning huge and fauna meaning animals.

So there were huge animals around during the Pleistocene Epoch, like the megatherium.

And the reason that managed to get so smooth, so huge is because, it didn't really have any predators or competitors.

There was plenty of food for it to eat.

It probably just ate vegetation.

And just had plenty to eat.

And so they could just get bigger and bigger and bigger.

It didn't matter that they were big and slow 'cause there weren't any really any predators around.

And you would have found the giant ground sloth in South America.

Again, they all start to go extinct about 10,000 years ago, about the same time that humans were arriving.

Here's an animal that would have been in prehistoric Britain though, the woolly mammoth.

So the woolly mammoth was hunted by humans in prehistoric Britain.

Here's a question for you.

What might some of the advantages and disadvantages be of hunting or woolly mammoth? What would have been a good thing, or good reason to hunt a in woolly mammoth? And what would it be in a bad reason to hunt a woolly mammoth? See if you can drop down those ideas in a table now.

So you might have looked at that woolly mammoth and thought, hmm, that looks quite dangerous.

I can see it's got these huge curved tusks.

And if the woolly mammoth swiped a human and one of those tusks hit you, it would be game over.

So it would be quite dangerous.

On the other hand, an advantage would be look how big it is.

If you manage to hunt one of those woolly mammoth successfully, and you need to be in a team, but if you manage to successfully kill it, you would have lots and lots of meat.

You would have this fur, which would have been useful to make clothes, to make sure that you stay warm.

You might even use those tusks as weapons or tools.

And so there would have been advantages to hunting a woolly mammoth, but also disadvantages.

Like with the other ice age animals, it looks like humans hunted them so much.

And alongside the climate changing means that they went extinct.

The last that we're going to look at is this animal here, it's a lion.

There were lions in Britain during the Pleistocene Epoch.

There were actual lions.

Not like lions that you might find in Africa though, these lions are cave lions.

They look slightly different.

You see that there's much more fur on them because of course it was an ice age.

And they lived in caves as the name suggests.

So we'd get these cave lions.

Now cave lions in Britain went extinct about the same time that humans started farming.

So humans started to stay in the same place and make farms and keep animals like goats and sheep and cattle, which means cows.

And about that time, all of the cave lions go extinct.

So how might those two things be connected? Good historians connect events happening at a similar time.

They might be connected, they might not be connected, but could they be connected? Humans start farming and lions go extinct at about the same time in Britain.

How could they be connected? Write down your answer and then I'll show you mine.

Let's have a look at what I wrote and see if it's similar to the idea that you had.

I'm sure you've got a great idea of how these things could be connected.

Well, as humans began to farm animals, so as we were collecting sheep and domesticating them and goats and keeping them close to our settlements, the cave lions might have seen those animals altogether and thought oh, that's a nice bit of easy dinner for me.

The cave lions might have come down to the human settlement and eaten a sheep.

Now, if that was happening, then the humans would have wanted to protect their animals.

So I thought as humans began to farm animals, cave lions might have attacked the livestock, that means the animals on the farm.

Humans may have hunted and killed the cave lions to protect their animals.

I don't know that for sure.

That's one idea of how they could be connected.

Because about the same time that humans are farming, suddenly all the cave lions go extinct.

So I wonder if the humans thought, oh we don't want the lions coming into our settlement, eating our animals and putting us into danger.

So we'll hunt all of those cave lions so that they don't bother us, that's how they could be connected.

That is the end of our lesson for today.

You've learned about so many different prehistoric animals.

But there are loads more that you can find out about.

So do you feel free to investigate and research and find out about different prehistoric animals, those living during the Pleistocene Epoch, and perhaps even those living before.

But as early humans were on the planet, about two and a half million years ago, for that whole time, they shared the planet alongside these prehistoric animals.

Many of which went extinct about 11,000 years ago, when the world started warm and the Pleistocene Epoch ended.

And our next few lessons, we'll be learning more about the different eras, and how things changed and stayed the same during prehistoric times.

And I can't wait to see you there.

Well done for working so hard, well done for learning so much more about prehistoric Britain.

I think you would agree it's really, really interesting, and it's where we live.

And finding out over thousands and thousands of years, how humans have lived differently, where we're still living now.

Wow, how interesting.

Great job, well done and I'll see you in the next lesson.