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Becoming

This short film explores the miraculous genesis of animal life. In great microscopic detail, we see the “making of” an Alpine newt in its transparent egg, from fertilization to hatching. The first stages of embryonic development are roughly the same for all animals, including humans. In the film, we can observe a universal process that is normally invisible: the very beginning of an animal’s life. A single cell is transformed into a complete, complex living organism with a beating heart and running bloodstream. The salamander (Ichthyosaura alpestris) embryo was followed very closely in a combination of time-lapse photography and film. All stages of embryogenesis can be seen in this film: cleavage, gastrulation, neurulation, and organogenesis. Time was condensed from about three weeks to six minutes.

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