I watch PBS a lot and I highly recommend the latest NOVA episode where a fossil hunter found the first fossilized mammals after the K-T event in Colorado. He was able to reconstruct the entire ecosystem and show how it rapidly evolved within 300,000 years after the big asteroid strike. I cannot recommend it enough- it showed how flora evolution directly tied in to fauna evolution and how mammals rapidly grew in size from mouse sized to wolf sized when plants with legumes came into being. I wonder how this would fit in with theoretical models of how life might evolve on exoplanets?
Excellent thread on CN here where we discussed the possibilities for extraterrestrial life:
I publicized SE a bit there:
I've always wondered about a few (probably very low) possibilities ever since the Trappist-1 system was discovered:
1) What are the chances of sentient life developing on multiple worlds in the same system?
2) What are the chances of two different branches of life occurring on the same planet (even Earth)- like organic and inorganic?
3) What are the chances of life transferring between worlds by means other than technological (like panspermia or even a planet and a moon that share an atmosphere and life traveling back and forth between the two?)
4) What are the chances of sentient life developing on a planet that orbits a star inside a globular cluster (a la Nightfall) or a star that has a black hole as a binary or multiple star partner (a la Interstellar)?
5) What are the chances of sentient life existing on a rogue planet?
6) What are the chances of sentient life existing in interstellar space?
I use a program called Space Engine that models the known universe in 3D (including exoplanets and their atmospheres). A lot of it is procedural since we dont know very much of course, but even so, the possibilities are truly mind-blowing!
I also use exoexplorer which does some of the same things and has an updated list of exoplanets.