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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles by University of Alberta

1,166 ratings

About the Course

Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles is a four-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary changes that occur when air-breathing terrestrial animals return to water. This course examines the diversity, adaptations, convergence, and phylogenetic relationships of extinct marine reptiles. Students will explore three major groups of marine reptiles: ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs. Watch a preview of the course here:

Top reviews


Apr 1, 2016

An excellent introduction to the sometimes overlooked marine predators that lived alongside the dinosaurs! A lot of detail is presented here, so be prepared to act like a sponge and soak it all up.


Oct 4, 2022

Learned quite alot about Ichthyosaur and Mosasaur , piqued my interest in going for some advanced course in paleontology , Thank you for such a great course , Hats of the the team behind this .

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1 - 25 of 331 Reviews for Paleontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles

By Eugene Y

Feb 1, 2017

I've just finish this course and it is the last one for me in the series of the paleontology courses provided by University of Alberta. And I must say, I'm simply blown away by all these courses! The topics covered are absolutely fascinating, the material presentation exceeded all my expectations and Scott Persons, the presenter, is probably the most engaging teacher I've ever seen, absolutely perfect at holding attention and delivering the material.

I liked the way the course is structured - individually following the evolutionary tree of all three major groups. It's really interesting to see how evolution worked out for them.

The material itself isn't short of terminology so it's treats listeners seriously, providing nitty-gritty details of how the evolution process took place, I really appreciate that. And it's never overdone, so a person without a special knowledge background can go through course just fine. Although it won't hurt to start these courses with Dino 101 first :)

Interactive materials are a very nice touch and a welcome addition to excellent videos and great lecture notes. Loved the use of fossils as well, it's a joy to get a look at some treasures a university like this has in their possession.

Hopefully, the staff behind these courses will be able to find an opportunity and new topics to continue to share knowledge about that mesmerizing time of prehistoric life. Until then, many thanks to all of them!

By Joel A C

Apr 1, 2016

An excellent introduction to the sometimes overlooked marine predators that lived alongside the dinosaurs! A lot of detail is presented here, so be prepared to act like a sponge and soak it all up.

By Janiel F

May 30, 2020

This course is very good. the presentations were very well done, the drawn images were very unique and stylish, and the information was very interesting. Very well done, definitetly recomend.

By Timothy O

Jun 21, 2016

I thought this would be a fun simple class, but I DID NOT know anything about marine reptiles, and it showed. I learned a lot and this instruction was very helpful and very educational.

By Sid L

Apr 12, 2018

i enjoyed the videos and lectures a lot, especially the sauropterygians and mosasauroids, as they are one of my favorite aquatic reptiles. through this course, i could learn a lot of extra information on the anatomy of a reptile as well as how intelligently they were adapted to ocean life.

the sir who was teaching us was excellent. i was totally engrossed into the videos and did not get distracted a minute. even the in-video quiz and the phylogenetic tree was amazing and let me apply my critical thinking and logic to solve it and also to analyse the tree.

but one problem was that whenever i posted a new thread on the Discussion Forum, no one responded to my queries.

apart from this the experience was excellent, and i want to thank the instructor who made my journey through this course very interesting!

By Kayzen K

Mar 24, 2016

I appreciate all staff of UNA and Coursera. I have been passed good study 4 weeks. So I did average 10 hours study in a day , 3 days in a week. It was hard for me but enjoyed.

I passed 3 week quiz full point but final one was 1 quiz lost.

Please let me know how to know which quiz was incorrect. And can I try second attempt it?

By Arturo M

May 27, 2017

Excellent course presented by Scott. His extremely well and funny way explanations made this course both enjoyable and educational. I want to thank Mr. Scott and all the team from University of Alberta to present these amazing themes of science to understand better our incredible planet with these beautiful creatures.

By Kristen D

Jun 15, 2017

Very good course, not the first I have taken with Uni Alberta either, I love the tutor and the way he expresses information makes it very easy to take in.

Questions in the quizzes are good to test your knowledge.

This will not be the last one I take, I would recommend Uni Alberta for all you Dinosaur course needs.

By JoAnne M F

Jan 15, 2020

Excellent I just don't think it's fair to me, to remember the dinosaurs, when the species,which are so similar,are still evolving to this,day....for paleos. to now, find them..? Baffling///

By Andrea N

Dec 25, 2016

This is my second course through the University of Alberta. I did Dino 101 (which I highly recommend on its own or before the Paleontology series) and was so impressed. Ancient Marine Reptiles is extremely in-depth - there is A LOT to learn here, from various animals to evolution, classification and trees. The instructor is absolutely phenomenal! I love his teaching style: he kept me engaged, interested and learning with nearly every sentence. It is obvious that he loves the world of Paleontology and that makes him easy to learn from. I highly, highly recommend this course and any others from the University of Alberta - they are some of the best courses I've ever taken.

By Manas s

Jun 1, 2019

Best course, very useful for increase in my knowledge in paleontology and scientific thinking. It is helpful for developing the learning skills. It was very helpful for my career, as I want to become a paleontologist. It increased my knowledge in archeological thinking which is important as you have a fossil or bone and you have to give hypothesis about eating habits, morphology, evolution of that fossil or bone which is very difficult to predict. This course thought me thinking about organisms and there relation with environment and other organisms

By Robert S C

Feb 20, 2022

Fascinating course dealing with the amazing forms of creatures that ruled the Mesozoic Seas. The course went into significant detail about the origin, evolution and development of the three families of marine reptiles commonly known as plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs and mosasaurs. It taught me a great deal about how paleontologists determine relationships between extinct creatures, how they hypothesize behavior characteristics and adaptations, and where key fossils can be found. Highly recommended if you're interested in this subject matter!

By Aneirin C P

Oct 17, 2019

I work in Las Vegas, Nevada, and our state fossil is the Ichthyosaur, which is part of why I wanted to take this course. I learned so much more than I expected and absolutely loved the way the instructor was engaging with the material; I felt I could pay attention and absorb the information without having to take too many breaks. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in paleontology, especially of the marine reptiles that are not spoken about as much as terrestrial ancient reptiles.

By Morgan E " P

Feb 9, 2017

Absolutely phenomenal course! Would recommend a million times over to anyone interested in this subject. I'm even looking into applying to the UofA after going through their wonderful MOOC's, well run, and interesting, wonderful course notes to supplement the clean, information packed, video lessons. Loved the interactive material too! The interactive phylogenetic tree was a lifesaver, I spent hours on that thing just reading up and looking around.

By Joy S

Apr 9, 2016

Course is great. Coursera is a minus 5 stars for their money grubbing propensities. Love the instructor for these dinosaur courses, he is personable, knowledgeable and just a naturally great teacher. The information is fascinating and scientifically up to date. It leaves me with a favorable impression of the University of Alberta's research. The graphics used in all these courses are simply beautiful.

By Rohit P

Jun 4, 2020

If you are new to Paleobiology like i was, i would recommed you take the course 'Dino 101" by Uni of Alberta before taking this one. This one in itself is complete but getting a substantial amount of basics before diving into this would help remember facts better.

This course in itself is very well put. Every little detail is well put, the tutor is friendly and the material is exceptional!

By M. C

Mar 15, 2018

I really liked this course! It illustrates the concepts well, and is a hands-on course in that it asks many informative questions during the videos. The quizzes are not overly hard, or easy. If you are interested in the subject, take this course! (If you are also thinking about the course about therapods, keep in mind this course is considerably longer than that one.)

By Alexander P V M

Mar 15, 2016

An excellent course on a fascinating subject, provided by an engaged team of professional and knowledgeable palaeontologists from the University of Alberta. I greatly enjoyed the video lectures, interactive tools and puzzles, discussions, detailed course notes, and just generally being able to take part in this wonderful course! Thanks for making this possible!

By Jane W

Apr 25, 2017

I loved that there were discrete chunks of learning in this course. All to often one is bombarded with data and can't make any sense from it. But here each weekly segment was complete and at the end, everything fitted together.

Thank you. In fact, I have enjoyed all the University of Alberta courses offered on reptiles, birds, dinosaurs, etc.

By Susie L

Sep 16, 2017

I have taken all the dinosaur courses offered by the University of Alberta and enjoyed them all. This one, however, was the most fascinating to me. Perhaps it was because I had childhood images of the Loch Ness monster fixed in my head and remember my Mother telling me it was possibly a plesiosaur! I hope more palaeobiology courses will appear


Jun 8, 2018

Incredible course outlining the evidence and theories associated with the rise and fall of ancient marine reptiles, exploring osteology, pathology, locomotion, phylogeny, taxonomy, geological time, clade dispersal, natural history, evolution, reproduction, diet, and survival strategies. Thank you so much for this course!!

By Martina K

May 4, 2017

The best course I have ever taken online! Great studying, quality nad quantity of materials...really enjoyed it. Since we do not have lessons on this topic ar the university and we get only basic palentology information so we can understand todays animals, this was a great way to deepen and upgrade the knowledge . Thanks!

By David-Antonio Z

Sep 20, 2017

Very talented personal wrote this course in order to get people involved in one of the major achievements of terrestrial reptiles: they return to seas, overcoming the acuatic problem in many ways, each having unique carachteristics that made each one f the most recognized linneage of reptiles that did this a stunning one

By Carol B

Jun 28, 2017

This course provided in depth information presented in a clear progression over time. I appreciated the excellent drawings and fossil displays as well as the interactive objects embedded in the course. The presenter is engaging and highly knowledgeable, making this course something that was enjoyable and challenging.

By Simon s m

Jun 10, 2020

Me gustó muchisimo el curso, siempre quise haber estudiado paleontología y cursos como este me ayudan a comprender mejor a estos animales y sus adaptaciones al medio acuático. El profesor presente también ayudó a una mayor comprensión de los temas abordados, excelente curso, ojála pudiera haber estudiado paleongología