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.
 
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show series
 
Burmese amber is well known for preserving fossils in exquisite details. This amber is dated to around 100 million years old, representing the Albian - Cenomanian ages of the Cretaceous period, so would have been deposited whilst non-avian dinosaurs still walked the land. Fossils preserved in this amber include representatives from numerous differe…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at how trace fossils can give important clues to ancient ecological interactions. The first paper identifies a unique behavior using trace fossils, and the second paper uses bite marks on bone to infer ontogenetic ecological shifts in a large caiman species. Meanwhile, Curt investigates, Amanda collects, and …
 
Random computer glitches are unable to stop the gang from delivering another podcast! This week, they focus on two papers that look at the importance history for understanding trends in our modern biosphere. The first paper discusses how speciation trends are important for planning future conservation efforts, and the second paper looks at the impo…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at the impact of ecological interactions on the evolutionary history of groups. The first looks at potential competitive interactions that could control rabbit body size, and the second paper uses the fossil record to investigate potential clade interactions between two groups of bryozoans. Meanwhile, Curt re…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at evolutionary changes in animal groups after the End Cretaceous Mass Extinction. The first paper looks at morphometric changes in shark teeth, and the second paper studies the evolutionary and biogeographic patterns of snakes. Meanwhile, Amanda “fixes” her audio, Curt goes biblical, and James is missing. Up…
 
Whether it be because of their unique shape, comical walking or extreme ecology, there can be no denying that penguins are incredibly popular and charismatic animals. But what actually makes a penguin a penguin and how are they different from other birds? Have penguins always been, well, 'penguiny'? Joining us for this interview are Simone Giovanar…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at patterns of speciation and extinction and relate those patterns to shifts in climate. The first paper looks at how both plate tectonics and climatic changes have contributed to shifts in provinciality, and the second paper tests the link between dramatic temperature changes and large scale extinction event…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at the fossil record of fishes. The first paper looks at the ontogeny of ancient lampreys, and the second paper investigates the impact genome duplication had on the evolutionary history of teleost fishes. Meanwhile, James finds a gnome, Curt has an adorable ghost problem, Amanda appreciates good music, and w…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at examples of cohabitation and unique ecological interactions in the Cambrian. The first paper looks at multiple animals living together in a hemichordate living chamber, the and the second looks at a potential example of parasitism on brachiopods. Meanwhile, James flips a coin, Curt has to live with some co…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at trackway fossils. The first paper uses a modern study to determine how many tracks are needed to get a reasonable estimate on the trace morphology, and the second paper looks at trackways from an early tetrapod and attempts to determine the likely trace maker. Meanwhile, James has thoughts on Luigi, Amanda…
 
The gang discusses two papers with… honestly a pretty flimsy link connecting them together. The first paper looks at size shifts in the dinosaur group, Alvarezsauridae, and the other paper looks at beetle fossils preserved in a dinosauromorph coprolite deposit. Meanwhile, James finds that the third time is the charm, Curt struggles to segue, and Am…
 
One of the factors that makes palaeontology such a popular science is its constant ability to surprise us. It seems almost every week that a new study is released that significantly adds to our understanding of ancient life. This could be in relation to a new species, a new analysis or new fossil locality. In this episode, we discuss a new discover…
 
One of the factors that makes palaeontology such a popular science is its constant ability to surprise us. It seems almost every week that a new study is released that significantly adds to our understanding of ancient life. This could be in relation to a new species, a new analysis or new fossil locality. In this episode, we discuss a new discover…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at ecological patterns in the Mesozoic. The first paper looks at ecomorphic trends in Triassic herbivorous tetrapods, while the second paper uses morphological and chemical evidence to estimate the behavioral patterns of Cretaceous mosasaurs. Meanwhile, James has ideas about electrolites, Curt has a 99% avera…
 
The gang discusses two papers that are loosely connected by the fact that they include mammals. The first paper looks at the biomechanics of a type of sabre tooth cat. The second paper analyzes the stability of mammal communities in deep time. Meanwhile, James loves the fans, Amanda is hemmed in by sound, Curt tries to avoid a lawsuit, and everyone…
 
The gang discusses two examples where extinction may have been very important in directing the evolution of mammals through time. The first paper looks at the impact of other mammals groups on the morphology of earlier therians, and the second paper looks at how extinction could explain some of the patterns observed in the Great American Interchang…
 
In this episode, we talk to our very own Dr Elsa Panciroli about her new book Beasts Before Us. In it, she tells the untold story of mammalian evolution, tracing the origin of synapsids back to the Carboniferous. You’ll be taken to fossil sites around the world to meet some of these pioneering animals and some of the palaeontologists that discovere…
 
The gang discusses two papers about unique adaptations in the fossil record, the first is a paper about pterosaurs that have opposable thumbs and the second paper talks about burrowing synapsids. Meanwhile, Discord is silencing James, Amanda fact checks, and Curt messes everything up…. like EVERYTHING. Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition): Today our frien…
 
The gang discusses two papers that talk about T-Rex, and also the interesting way that these papers were discussed in popular culture. The first paper looks at the walking speed of T-Rex, and the second paper estimates how many T-Rex could have lived on Earth at any given time. Meanwhile, James is so very tired, Amanda loves soap, and Curt picks th…
 
The gang talks about two papers that look at changes in ecological interactions through deep time. The first paper looks at how ecological networks changed from the Permian into the Triassic, and the second paper looks at how echinoid diversity patterns compare to echinoid predation patterns. Meanwhile, James has some choice words about Elon Musk, …
 
Crocodiles are often referred to as “living fossils”, but if we compare modern and ancient species, does that label hold up? What different kind of morphologies (shapes) did past crocs have and how did they live? How quickly did this past diversity arise and why are we left with so few species today? What’s to stop them from diversifying again? In …
 
In this episode, I discussed the use of maps in palaeontology, and historic maps in general, with Björn Franke, an MRes student in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation at UCL. Björn talked about a couple of particularly nice dinosaur maps. If you're interested in having a look at these, I've listed the full reference to the research paper below…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at the ecology of the ancient shark Megalodon. One paper uses our knowledge of modern sharks to fill in the missing data on what Megalodon could have looked like, and the other looks for evidence of Megalodon nurseries in the fossil record. Meanwhile, Amanda cares too much, James spreads “facts”, and Curt wou…
 
This is the first episode of Putting Science on the Map, a weekly podcast which focuses on how maps are used within different areas of science. In future episodes, we'll have guests joining us to chat about how they use maps within their word. But this episode is a bit of an introduction to give you an idea of what you can expect from the podcast.…
 
Crocodiles are often referred to as “living fossils”, but if we compare modern and ancient species, does that label hold up? What different kind of morphologies (shapes) did past crocs have and how did they live? How quickly did this past diversity arise and why are we left with so few species today? What’s to stop them from diversifying again? In …
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at how animals take up space in a community. The first paper looks at ancient reef systems and uses spatial analysis to infer ecological interactions between corals. The second paper looks at the impact that lions have on other predators in South African reserves. Meanwhile, Amanda loves a number, James is an…
 
The gang discuss two papers that look at community structure in fossil and modern biota. The first paper looks at the size distribution of dinosaur communities and finds an interesting lack of mid-sized predators. The second paper looks at a modern kelp forest community to determine if fishing refugia results in ecological cascades in this system. …
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at snake evolution and ecology. The first paper looks at the evolutionary steps required for venom spitting behavior in cobras, and the second paper looks at how snake populations in the tropics are being impacted by mass amphibian die offs. Meanwhile, James likes the Resident Evil Lady, Curt meets big Bowser…
 
Part two of our interview with Dr Larisa DeSantis of Vanderbilt University on the 'dietary ecology' of Smilodon. Smilodon is probably one of the most iconic mammalian apex predators with its extended upper canines and robustly-built forearms. In fact, when we compare Smilodon to modern cats (felids), we don't see these same characteristics. So what…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at evidence for past behavior in the fossil record using both fossil and modern data. The first looks at the evolution of vibration sensing organs in bird beaks, and the second paper looks at how shark teeth within the genus Otodus changed through time. Meanwhile, the gang spends the first 11 minutes arguing …
 
Smilodon is probably one of the most iconic mammalian apex predators with its extended upper canines and robustly-built forearms. In fact, when we compare Smilodon to modern cats (felids), we don’t see these same characteristics. So what were they used for? Was Smilodon specialised for any particular behaviour? Owing to the unique preservation of t…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at how competition, environment, and biogeography affect macroevolutionary patterns. The first paper looks at the evolution of bird beaks, and the second paper looks at patterns in horse evolution. Meanwhile, James has “some” gin, Amanda practices her “reviewer” skills, and Curt enjoys some last minute “hones…
 
It wouldn’t be outlandish to state that many a fossil collection has started with the acquisition of an ammonite. Their planispiral shells (termed a conch) are instantly recognisable and since that conch was originally composed of the relatively hard mineral aragonite, they better lend themselves to the fossilisation process. But how much do we act…
 
The gang discusses two papers that look at interesting new arthropod fossil finds. The first paper is the discovery of a new early arthropod which complicates our understanding of their evolution, and the second paper is a large deposit of trace fossils which could be caused by mass arthropod molting. Meanwhile, James has issues with formatting, Am…
 
The gang celebrates the end of the year by taking another break to play Fiasco, a crime/noir storytelling game by Bully Pit Games. Thank you for subscribing to our Mars Inc. weekly newsletter. We value your continued engagement with the Mars Inc. brand. Currently, Mars Inc. is undergoing an aggressive restructuring campaign that will improve effici…
 
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