The Common Descent Podcast
Episode 153 - Armadillos

Episode 153 - Armadillos

November 26, 2022

Built-in body armor is common among reptiles and rare among mammals, but armadillos are the major exception. Equipped with a full set of segmented armor over their heads, backs, and tails, armadillos have been waddling around well-protected for tens of millions of years, and their ancient relatives include some of the most famous and preposterous of extinct mammals. This episode, we discuss the unique features and fascinating history of armadillos, glyptodonts, and their other ancient cousins.

In the news: roots and extinction, new croc-like reptiles, early cooking, and giant turtles.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:04:00
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:31:30
Main discussion, Part 2: 01:05:30
Patron question: 01:39:30

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
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Episode 152 - The Jehol Biota

Episode 152 - The Jehol Biota

November 12, 2022

You might have noticed that over the last few decades, a lot of really exciting and famous fossil discoveries have been coming out of China. If you pay close attention, you might even catch that many of them are coming from the same place: the incredible fossil assemblages of the Jehol Biota. We’ve mentioned Jehol fossils many times on the podcast, but in this episode, we focus on the big picture: where do these fossils come from, why are they so incredibly well-preserved, and what are just some of the fascinating research questions we can answer by examining these amazing fossils?

In the news: bird evolution, dinosaur growth patterns, mammal speciation rates, and glowing scallops.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:08:00
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:48:30
Main discussion, Part 2: 01:15:30
Patron question: 01:51:30

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

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Johnson City, TN 37604

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 151 - Tails

Episode 151 - Tails

October 29, 2022

Look at the various animals on Earth – or rather, look just behind them – and you’ll see a vast variety of tails! Tails and tail-like structures are often simple extensions of the body, and yet they’ve been adapted and modified into many shapes with many functions, and because they’re often so important to an animal’s lifestyle, they can be especially useful for paleontologists trying to understand ancient animals. In this episode, we’ll discuss definitions, diversity, functions, and fossils of tails.

In the news: drought fossils, early fish jaws, early fish fins, and paleontology video games.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:04:00
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:33:00
Main discussion, Part 2: 01:18:30
Patron question: 01:53:30

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Spook-E - Mimics

Spook-E - Mimics

October 29, 2022

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.

This episode, we delve into a paranoia-inducing scourge of dungeons. What hypothetical natural scenario might cultivate a shape-shifting ambush hunter that disguises itself as inanimate objects? Our creatures to create this time: Mimics.

Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev

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

Spook-E - Beholders

Spook-E - Beholders

October 22, 2022

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.

This episode, we gaze upon something truly alien. Can we formulate an evolutionary path to produce a malicious floating orb creature that stares at the world through many eyes? Our creatures to create this time: Beholders.

Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev

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

Episode 150 - Stegosaurs

Episode 150 - Stegosaurs

October 15, 2022

Stegosaurus is one of the all-time most famous and recognizable dinosaurs, but it wasn’t alone! Its whole extended family, the stegosaurs, were medium- to large-sized herbivorous dinosaurs sporting an array of plates and spikes. This episode, we discuss the diversity and deep history of stegosaurs, what we know of their lifestyles, and of course the big questions: just what were they doing with that ridiculous armor?

In the news: Moon impacts, bird brains, Jurassic vomit, and super-old algae.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:05:30
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:31:00
Main discussion, Part 2: 00:58:30
Patron question: 01:48:00

Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:
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Follow this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible!
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Check out Riley Black’s newest book: The Last Days of the Dinosaurs

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The Common Descent Podcast
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Johnson City, TN 37604

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Spook-E - Displacer Beasts

Spook-E - Displacer Beasts

October 15, 2022

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.

This episode, we roll out a monster that’s tough to get grasp on. From where on the tree of life might we develop a many-limbed predator with a knack for fooling the eye? Our creatures to create this time: Displacer beasts.

Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev

And share your Spook-E musings on social media with the hashtag #SpookE

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

Spook-E - Owlbears

Spook-E - Owlbears

October 8, 2022

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.

This episode, we play with a classic chimera. How might nature select for a beast that combines the fierce features of a bear and a bird of prey? Our creatures to create this time: Owlbears.

Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev

And share your Spook-E musings on social media with the hashtag #SpookE

Check out our blog for podcast info, fan art, and more!
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Or send us physical mail at:
The Common Descent Podcast
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Johnson City, TN 37604

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

Episode 149 - Ants

Episode 149 - Ants

October 1, 2022

In our modern world, ants are so ubiquitous that it’s difficult to image our planet without them, so successful that they shape the environments around them despite their tiny size, and so diverse that we couldn’t possibly discuss even a small fraction of their diversity in this one podcast episode. We’ll touch on some of what makes ants unique, list a few of our favorite examples of modern ant lifestyles, and dive into what is known about their ancient history and evolution. Get ready for fire ants, bullet ants, dinosaur ants, hell ants, and more.

In the news: mysterious maybe-molluscs, giant otters, tuatara cousins, and fossil fish organs.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:05:30
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:31:30
Main discussion, Part 2: 01:16:30
Patron question: 01:54:00

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

Follow this link for a 30 day free trial to Audible!
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Johnson City, TN 37604

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 148 - Gliding

Episode 148 - Gliding

September 17, 2022

Powered flight is hard, and evolution has only produced it a few times. Gliding, however, is much easier and much more common. In fact, there is an astonishing diversity of gliding organisms to be found in our modern world as well as in the fossil record, with an incredible variety in the adaptations they use to sail through the sky. This episode, we’ll explore what it takes to glide and what patterns we see in gliding evolution, and we’ll also geek out about all the amazing sizes, shapes, and strategies of gliders.

In the news: coral mutations, African dinosaurs, croc brains, and ancient amputation.

Time markers:
Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00
News: 00:07:00
Main discussion, Part 1: 00:41:30
Main discussion, Part 2: 01:28:30
Patron question: 02:22:00

Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:
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You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.com
Or send us physical mail at:
The Common Descent Podcast
1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165
Johnson City, TN 37604

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

Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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