Episode 26 - Astrobiology

January 14, 2018

In the news: Ancient Americans, a frozen baby rhino, unique dinosaur bones, and a surprising shared feature of cells.

This episode, we look to the stars! Our discussion takes a tour across the field of astrobiology, the broad and thought-provoking science that seeks to answer the questions of how life arises, where it thrives, and where we might find it elsewhere in the universe, incorporating everything from astronomy to paleontology along the way.

Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:
http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 25 - The Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction

December 31, 2017

In the news: mistaken Archaeopteryx identity, ticks with a taste for dinosaurs, evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, and ancient bear hibernation.

In this episode, we firmly establish a tradition of extinction-talk! This time, by request, it’s the latest major prehistoric extinction in Earth history, the event that took from us the mammoths, ground sloths, and other giants of the Ice Age, a mass extinction that our own species was around to witness (and perhaps even cause): the Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction.

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 24 - Sloths

December 17, 2017

In the news: pterosaur eggs, a bizarre swimming dinosaur, the plight of paleontological monuments, and the ears of plesiosaurs.

This episode, by listener request, is all about sloths! We explore their bizarre family tree, their adorable and internet-favorite living representatives, and their diverse and truly incredible ancient members.

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 23 - Jurassic Park

December 3, 2017

In the news: a new Jurassic glider, Tasmanian stromatolites, the world’s longest dinosaur trackway, and a tool for tracking fossils.

Hold onto your butts … in this episode, we celebrate the intersection of science and popular culture with a discussion about the biggest dinosaur movie of all time, what makes it unique, and the incredible effeect it had on the real-life world of paleontology: Jurassic Park.

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 22 - Micropaleontology

November 19, 2017

In the news: daytime mammals, unusual dinosaur teeth, the dinosaur family tree (again), and dead male mammoths.

This episode, we take a super up-close look at the tiniest components of the fossil record, the microscopic remains that are so essential to our understanding of earth history, and the field of study devoted to them: Micropaleontology.

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 21 - Dinosaurs, An Introduction

November 4, 2017

In the news: colorful dinosaurs, the rise of big herbivores, an Indian ichthyosaur, and saber-tooth DNA.

There is no group of prehistoric creatures more iconic, more widely-studied, or more requested by our listeners, than the subject of this episode! This time, it's a brief introduction to Dinosaurs.

Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:
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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 20 - The Scientific Method

October 21, 2017

In the news: fossilized salamander organs, dinosaur proteins (or not), the bizarre comb jellies, and fanged kangaroos.

This episode, we’re taking a big step back at the concept that underlies everything we talk about on this podcast: the scientific method! Our discussion includes what exactly the method is, why we use it, and what can sometimes get lost in translation

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Diversity in Paleontology - Special Episode

October 8, 2017

To coincide with Episode 19 of Common Descent, this is a compilation of voices, more than a dozen paleontologists sharing their varied perspectives on the subject of diversity, inclusivity, and inspiration in their favorite field of science.

Big thanks to all who participated!

Find Michelle at Femmes of STEM: https://www.femmesofstem.com/

And Will and David at Common Descent: http://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/

 

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Episode 19 - Women in Paleontology

October 8, 2017

*FIXED. The original upload had an issue around 31:10, but we have re-uploaded properly!

In the news: baby saber-tooths; Triceratops brains; surprises in dinosaur poop; and super-ancient trilobite guts!

This is a listener-requested topic and a guest episode! We are joined by super-special guest Michelle Barboza-Ramirez of the Femmes of STEM podcast, who is here to help us explore the deep subject of Women in Paleontology. We talk about female scientists past and present, discuss the challenges they face, and reflect on the broad questions of diversity in the field of paleontology and other sciences.

HUGE thanks to Michelle for helping us out! Find her at www.femmesofstem.com!

Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:
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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 18B - Human Evolution Part 2

September 23, 2017

In the second part of our exploration of our own evolutionary past, we focus in on one particular recent group of big-brained, bipedal hominins. We explore their incredible diversity, their clever creations, and the origins of a species that we know better than any other.

In the news: Neanderthal plaque; very surprising footprints; our tiny mysterious cousins; and an ancient sugary secret.

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http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/

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The Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

 

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