show episodes
 
Thank you for joining us on this journey to discover more about the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, one of Earth’s Extraordinary Places. In this series of interviews, Geopark Patron Professor Iain Stewart explore what it is that makes this Geopark so special, from when the rocks around us were formed, to evidence of early humans and right up to artists and writers who are being inspired by the Geopark today.
 
A collection of ten short nonfiction works in the public domain. The essays, speeches and reports included in this collection were independently selected by the readers, and the topics encompass history, politics, religion, science and humor. Included in this collection are the "Oath of Hippocrates" and "The Funeral Oration of Pericles" along with Patrick Henry's "The Call to Arms," and Jack London's eyewitness account of the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. On the lighter ...
 
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show series
 
Lack of diversity is one of the major issues in the sciences in recent times. We’ve discussed diversity in palaeontology in previous podcasts, but in this episode Elsa takes a look at the legacy of racism and colonialism in palaeontology and museum collections, and what efforts are being made to address these issues. Colonial attitudes towards peop…
 
Piecing together the early lives of dinosaurs is difficult due to a lack of fossils from juvenile and embryonic stages. In this episode, Elsa Panciroli talks to Dr Kimi Chappelle, a postdoctoral fellow at the Evolutionary Studies Institute, part of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chappelle specialises in sauropodomorp…
 
The gang discusses two papers are things with legs…. and the word snake is their name. Honestly, we’ve had flimsier excuses for a podcast, jut go with it. The first paper looks at a specimen of a legged snake, and the second paper discusses potential evolutionary pathways for convergent evolution in a group of penguin like animals closely related t…
 
The gang celebrates hitting the milestone of 200 podcast episodes by returning to a topic related to their first episode, sharks. The first paper looks at how shark size has changed through time, and the second paper looks at the different ways whirl-toothed sharks were able to eat their food. Meanwhile, James has ideas about the success of Disney …
 
When we think about the Ice Age or the Pleistocene, we generally think of large animals: wooly mammoths trudging through snow, sabre-tooth tigers taking down their next meal, and big bison out on the steppes. These are really interesting things to think about, but what else can we learn from the Pleistocene other big animals and their extinction? W…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look in detail at examples of convergence in the fossil record. The first paper uses multivariate statistics to create an “eco-space” in order to study how ecological roles of marine tetrapods changed over the Mesozoic. The second paper looks at the evolutionary history and functional morphology of sabre-teeth in …
 
In this first episode of Geopark In Focus, Prof. Iain Stewart talks with Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology at University of Bristol, and Dr Kevin Page, geoscience and geodiversity specialist and Honorary Associate at the University of Exeter. They take us on a journey through deep time from when the Geopark was bathed in tropical s…
 
Part 2. Diatoms are a major group of algae found in waters all around the world. As photosynthetic phytoplankton, they are hugely important ‘primary producers’, integral to nearly every aquatic food chain. They are responsible for a large proportion of the world’s oxygen production, with estimates ranging between 20 and 50%. Diatoms are unicellular…
 
The gang discusses two papers about interesting finds in the bones of fossil vertebrates. The first paper looks at the evolution of bony parts in early fishes, and the second paper shows a fascinating example of ontological change in a species of sauropod dinosaur. Meanwhile, Amanda’s best ideas are ignored, James has unconventional bread opinions,…
 
In this special episode, palaeontologists Jason Sherburn and Dean Lomax discuss Dean's new pop up book Prehistoric Pets, which can be purchased here. For extra links and images, please check out the accompanying blogpost. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook as well. On the FOSSIL Record is sponsored by UKGE ltd, Deposits Magazine, and UKAFH.…
 
Diatoms are a major group of algae found in waters all around the world. As photosynthetic phytoplankton, they are hugely important ‘primary producers’, integral to nearly every aquatic food chain. They are responsible for a large proportion of the world’s oxygen production, with estimates ranging between 20 and 50%. Diatoms are unicellular plants …
 
The gang discusses two papers that investigate niche partitioning and the ecological impacts on bird beak evolution. Honestly, this podcast is just a grab bag of different topics loosely connected together as an excuse for James to continue to espouse his beliefs on pies. The gang discusses one paper about a long necked reptile and another paper ab…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at the wealth of information left behind on fossil bones which can let us know about the many organisms which worked to break down and decay dead animals. These feeding traces give clues to the presence of animals that might not easily fossilize. Plus, this topic is an excuse for James to suggest two papers t…
 
The gang discusses two papers that use the trace fossil record to give us a more detailed understanding of the impacts of mass extinctions. Meanwhile, Curt has a new CSI, Amanda has too many synapsids, and James “understands comedy”. Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition): Our friends talk about the marks that feet make on the ground and how these marks can t…
 
The gang discusses two papers about the ecological data that we can learn from looking at trace fossils. The first paper looks at a unique ancient crocodilian behavior, and the second paper shows similar shore bird behaviors over the course of tens of millions of years. Meanwhile, James is full of bones, Amanda is honored, and Curt loves Hanna Barb…
 
Part 2 of 2. The horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura) are a group of large aquatic arthropods known from the East coast of the USA, and the Southern and Eastern coasts of Asia. Despite their name, they are not actually crabs at all, but are chelicerates (the group containing spiders and scorpions). As a group, the horseshoe crabs possess an extremely long f…
 
The gang discuss two papers that describe unique animal fossils which have been known but haven’t (until now) been formally described. The first is “Collins Monster”, a lobopod from the Cambrian, and the second is a fossil dolphin which is similar to an orca. Meanwhile, James rehabilitates some dolphins, Amanda saw a thing, and Curt witnesses true …
 
The horseshoe crabs (Xiphosura) are a group of large aquatic arthropods known from the East coast of the USA, and the Southern and Eastern coasts of Asia. Despite their name, they are not actually crabs at all, but are chelicerates (the group containing spiders and scorpions). As a group, the horseshoe crabs possess an extremely long fossil record,…
 
Hey now, you’re an all-star, get the game on, go play. Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid! All that glitters is a long discussion about Mesozoic eggs. One of the papers we discuss suggests that the evolution of hard calcification in dinosaur eggs might have evolved independently multiple times. The second paper tries to determin…
 
With palaeontology as popular as it is you will never be short of content online, whether that be articles, blogs, podcasts (of which there are now many others you should also be listening to) or videos. This allows you, the public, to enjoy learning about past life on demand and in a format that best suits you. The only issue with having so many s…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at important points in the evolutionary history of land plants. The first paper is a review of the available data for the first time plants moved onto land in the Ordovician, and the second paper looks at the impact that the evolution of herbivory had on plant diversity. Meanwhile, James invents a new insect,…
 
The end-Cretaceous (or K-Pg) extinction is one of the best known mass extinctions in Earth's history, primarily because that is when non-avian dinosaurs disappeared. Although the popular idea is that an asteroid impact was what caused the extinction, the science hasn't actually been that clear. More recently, a second hypothesis has challenged the …
 
The gang discusses two papers about arthropod evolution and development. One paper focuses on the evolution of arthropod segmentation, and the other summarizes research on the development of the insect wing. Meanwhile, Amanda has a beer with no unintended consequences, Curt makes a shocking discovery about marketing, and James goes from 0 to profes…
 
In this episode, in conjunction with the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), we investigate issues of diversity in palaeontology, through interviews with Jann Nassif (PhD student at Ohio University, USA) on being transgender in palaeontology; Professor Taissa Rodrigues (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil) and Dr Femke Holwerda (Dr…
 
(Editor’s Note: This episode was recorded a month ago. Everyone at Palaeo After Dark stands with the protesters fighting for justice. Black Lives Matter!) The gang discuss two papers about large mammal-like animals. The first is a Triassic synapsid the size of an elephant, and the second is a mammaliaform from the late Cretaceous of Madagascar. Mea…
 
One of the great themes in palaeobiology is the water-land transition, or how and when the ancestors of today’s four-legged terrestrial animals moved to land. Lines of questioning have included understanding the anatomy and biomechanics of the axial skeleton- head and vertebrae (focusing on biting and swallowing) and the appendicular skeleton (focu…
 
The gang discusses two papers about archosaurs. The first paper looks at the trends in brain size relative to body size in birds over their entire evolutionary history. The second paper revisits the dinosaur Spinosaurus and adds more information to the debate over whether this animal had a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Meanwhile, James has some villagers…
 
The gang discusses two papers about unique taphonomic conditions. One paper describes how these strange “train wrecks” of crinoid columnals might have formed, and the other paper models how bone jams in Dinosaur National Park could have formed. Meanwhile, James’s computer has a flux capacitor, Amanda mishears the best new BBC crime drama, and Curt …
 
Early tetrapods include the earliest animals to grow legs, and their closest ancestors. Moving from the water to land required a number of changes within the skeleton and muscular system, related to moving from swimming to crawling, greater pressure on the body after experiencing further effects of gravity without buoyancy, and the difference in fe…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at modifications of the vertebrate hand. The first looks at how the lobe fin evolved into the vertebrate hand, and the second paper looks at the early limb transformations of early whales as hands became fins. Meanwhile, James’s computer is a time traveler, Amanda is upset that everyone is upset about Bunny D…
 
That gang discusses two papers about fossil soft-bodied Cambrian organisms; one of which is a unique lobopod and the other is a fossil worm. Meanwhile, Amanda could go for some fish, Curt can’t stop the puns, James is going to be a cowboy. Up-Goer Five (James Edition): This week the group looks at two papers that are looking at two very old animals…
 
The gang talks about two papers which look at the ecology of the Ediacaran. One paper uses trace fossils to infer how ecological systems change as we move from the Ediacaran to the Cambrian, and the second paper identifies some interesting features previously undocumented in Ediacaran fossils. Meanwhile, Curt has ideas about sponges, the internet d…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at the human impact on the fossil record. The first paper runs multiple model studies to try and determine when hominines (the group that includes all of our ancestors) first began significantly impacting the biosphere. The second paper estimates what our future fossil record may look like by using the state …
 
Plesiosaurs are some of the most easily recognisable animals in the fossil record. Simply uttering the words ‘Loch Ness Monster’ can conjure a reasonably accurate image of what they look like. Thanks to palaeoart, it’s also fairly easy to envision how they lived: swimming through the open Jurassic seas, picking fish, ammonites and belemnites out of…
 
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