bande annonce

Something about Species


2008, France
Original language
Running time
living matter
Directed by
Denis Van Waerebeke, Vincent Gaullier
Written by
Denis Van Waerebeke, Vincent Gaullier
Produced by
Ex-Nihilo, NHK, France 5, CNRS Images, MNHN, ARTE France
Member page
Agat Films & Cie / Ex Nihilo

Do you know that you are an Amniote like the golden eagle, a tetrapod like the rattlesnake with its four limbs for walking? But hold on, a rattlesnake on four legs? From the point of view of evolution, yes indeed! One fine day, the common ancestor of the snakes discovered the knack of slithering and thus lost its feet. Stranger still, did you know the crocodile is more closely related to the canary than to the viper?

The objective of There is something about species is to peer into the Tree of Life and to demonstrate that the millions of species on our planet, including human beings, all belong to a single huge family. How should we classify these living species? What characteristics should we use? The number of feet? The presence of wings, of feathers? Not an easy question to answer…

The film also informs us of the state of current knowledge, and corrects some of the misunderstandings about evolution: no, we are not descended from monkeys, no, we are not more "evolved" than bacteria: we have invented science, stamp-collecting and crêpes suzette; but bacteria are capable of reproducing 14 times per minute at a temperature of 100°C. Just try that!

There is something about species shows us the ways in which we are related to other living species. Ranging from the study of the evolution of the living world, to the curious inventions of nature, we will come to understand the terms and stakes of the debates which have shaken the scientific world about the origin of life on Earth and its evolution.


Selected at Pariscience 2008 - Pariscience AST - Ville de Paris Grand Prize
See the showing : Sunday 12th October 2008 from 14h00 to 15h30