Bill Shear investigates how arthropods made the transition to living on land by looking at microfossils preserved along with fossil plants. He extracts tiny fossils by dissolving the rock that they are embedded in. He then puts together the fragments like a jigsaw puzzle and finds a spider was one of the first invaders. Further research showed that many different groups of arthropods invaded land around the same time. Shear then describes the ecosystem of the Devonian when this invasion occurred.
Bill Shear, Biologist: How Arthropods Left the Sea
Next Generation Science Standards for this Video
Bill Shear, a paleontologist, looks at microfossils, and from the pattern of animal and plant fossils makes conclusions about the arthropod invasion of land.