Video Title

Write the Title of the video, it’s creator, and the full URL here. You will copy and paste this information into the Submission Form.

“How Many Mass Extinctions Have There Been?”. Created by: Minute Earth.



Write a three-sentence overview of the video. This should not simply restate the title of the video, but should provide a concise yet accurate and informative summary of the video’s content.

“How Many Mass Extinctions Have There Been?”, is a short and explanatory video about how the 1970’s scientist Jack Sepkaski conducted an intense research on Earth’s fossil finds. With his findings, he designed a paleontology chart showing marine life since the beginning of time on Earth. What is more is that Sepkaski discovered the 5 mass extinctions that had occurred throughout Earth’s history by organizing early marine fossils into following groups.


Why watch this video?

Identify three key questions that the video answers. The questions should not be a restatement of the learning objectives, and should make it clear to other students why they would find the video useful. The questions will take the following form: 

  • Have you ever wondered …?
  • Would you like to know how [something works or happens/ happened]?
  • Have you ever been confused by …?

1) Have you ever wondered who conducted the research on Earth’s 5 mass extinctions?

2) Would you like to know how Earth’s 5 mass extinctions was configured and organized?

3) Have you ever been confused by other extinctions that occurred throughout Earth’s history besides the 5-mass extinctions that is emphasized?

Key terms

Identify three terms that are technical in nature, and that are key to understanding the topic of the video. Define those terms in simple language, using your own words. You can also use these key terms as tags when submitting the assignment.

1) fossil record: Is a chart of the remains of ancient species that had lived throughout Earth’s history. Not all living species since the beginning of time are charted, instead there is only a small amount that are captured.

2) Paleontologist: An anthropologist who researches and studies fossil remains. An example is 1970’s scientist Jack Sepkaski who researched and configured Earth’s earliest fossil remains on a paleontology chart.

3) Rock: Hard masses of stone material


Loose ends

Identify three “loose ends,” and explain the loose ends so that others watching the video will not be confused by them. The “loose ends” could be: 

  • Points that could be expanded upon because they were not addressed in sufficient detail in the video
  • Points that might leave some confusion in the minds of students watching the video
  • Factual errors (hopefully there won’t be any of those)
  • Points that are inconsistent with something in the course materials (e.g., competing hypotheses, more recent information, etc.)


1) The video states that the fossil record is “inconsistent” with the findings of Earth’s early remains, however, despite the inconsistency that is opposed there are new mechanisms such as statistics that help researchers regenerate the diversity curve.

2) While, scientist Jack Sepkaski configured the paleontology chart of Earth’s earliest fossil remains, scientists have conducted further research on his chart by using modern technology and tools.

3) The modern diverse curve that is originated from Sepkaski’s paleontology chart, scientists have asserted that the mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history are more complex and arbitrary to understand.

Self-Test Questions

Write five multiple choice questions so students can test their knowledge after watching the video. Supply the correct answers. The questions should cover key points. A good set of multiple choice questions will have the following characteristics: 

  • Four answer options (a through d)
  • Little to no use of answer options like “all of the above” or “none of the above.”
  • The correct answer should not be obvious to someone with no prior knowledge of the topic which is the correct answer. (Over-simplified questions are not helpful when trying to understand a topic.)
  • Questions should be relevant to the topic of the video and to the learning objectives.
  • After doing the questions, it should be clear to students what key points they have not understood.
  • *You may provide your multiple choice questions in rich text format or provide a link to an interactive quiz (e.g. H5P Question Set) in the “description” portion of the form on the Share

1) During the Late Ordovician Period, early species _____leaving their genetic imprints.

  1. A) Did not survive
  2. B) Survived
  3. C) Survived for a certain amount of time
  4. D) Continued to survive


2) During the Late Cretaceous Period, ______ species left their biomarkers in the precedence of species that survived.

  1. A) A large amount
  2. B) A small amount
  3. C) None

3) What are the three main extinctions that occurred in Earth’s history?

  1. A) Late Ordovician, Late Devonian, Late Cretaceous
  2. B) Late Ordovician, Late Cretaceous, and Late Permian
  3. C) Late Permian, Late Triassic, Late Cretaceous
  4. D) Late Triassic, Late Permian, Late Devonian


4) Despite the 5 mass extinctions, scientists argue that there are _____ mass extinctions that occurred since the beginning of time on Earth.

  1. A) 6
  2. B) 7
  3. C) 8
  4. D) 9


Correct Answers: 1) D, 2) A, 3) A, 4) D


Which of the course modules is this video relevant for? You will be able to select these from a list when submitting the assignment. 

  • Geological Time
  • Geological Materials and Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Plate Tectonics and Supercontinents
  • Life, Evolution, and the Fossil Record
  • Early Earth and the First Life
  • Early Paleozoic: Cambrian and Ordovician
  • Middle Paleozoic: Silurian and Devonian
  • Late Paleozoic: Carboniferous and Permian
  • The Mesozoic Era
  • The Cenozoic Era (pre-Holocene)
  • The Holocene

Early Earth and the First Life, and Geological Time

Shared by: Kendra Albert

Item Credit: Published by: Minute Earth

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