The Common Descent Podcast
Episode 73 - Trees

Episode 73 - Trees

November 2, 2019

Aly's back for more plants!

As our friend Aly is fond of pointing out, plants aren't just the colorful background of Earth history, they're dynamic and influential drivers of environmental change. And few plant innovations are more famous or important than the familiar form of a tree. For hundreds of millions of years, trees have formed the basis of many of our planet's most widespread and diverse ecosystems. In this episode, Aly takes us on a tour of tree history!

In the news: more dinosaur air conditioning, trilobite lines, moth hearing, and 1,000 plant trascriptomes.

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

We're doing another End of the Year Q&A! Submit your question here:
https://forms.gle/E398RmMhGvaYHpz6A

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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 - Chimeras

Spook-E - Chimeras

October 26, 2019

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

It’s October, and we’re back with more Spook-E! Each week this month, we’re choosing a creepy creature and discussing how it – or something like – might evolve biologically, pulling inspiration from critters of the real world. This month’s theme: monsters of Greek mythology.

In this final episode of this season, we take on the task of evolving the most famous of mythical hybrids. Can our evolutionary processes combine the traits of reptiles, mammals, and more? Our creatures to evolve this time: Chimeras.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 72 - Plesiosaurs

Episode 72 - Plesiosaurs

October 19, 2019

The oceans of the Mesozoic were home to a lot of fascinating sea predators, but perhaps none weirder than the plesiosaurs. Four giant flippers, tiny tails, and heads that ranged from enormous death traps to tiny noggins atop ridiculously long necks; there’s truly nothing like them in the world today, which makes them quite the prehistoric puzzle. In this episode, we’ll discuss what we know about them and what questions remain unanswered.

In the news: sauropod beaks, croc snouts, the last mammoths, and mold pigs!

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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 - Hydras

Spook-E - Hydras

October 19, 2019

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

It’s October, and we’re back with more Spook-E! Each week this month, we’re choosing a creepy creature and discussing how it – or something like – might evolve biologically, pulling inspiration from critters of the real world. This month’s theme: monsters of Greek mythology.

This episode, we tackle the great monster of Lerna. How can we use nature's toolkit to evolve a poisonous lake-dwelling beast whose multiple heads constantly grow back? Our creatures to evolve this time: Hydras.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 - Gorgons

Spook-E - Gorgons

October 12, 2019

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

It’s October, and we’re back with more Spook-E! Each week this month, we’re choosing a creepy creature and discussing how it – or something like – might evolve biologically, pulling inspiration from critters of the real world. This month’s theme: monsters of Greek mythology.

This episode, we're talking about Medusa and her kin. How could natural selection produce a serpentine humanoid with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns people to stone? Our creatures to create this time: Gorgons.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 71 - The Western Interior Seaway

Episode 71 - The Western Interior Seaway

October 5, 2019

During the Cretaceous Period, North America flooded. The entire middle section of the continent was submerged, creating an inland sea that stretched from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico and hosted a unique and fascinating underwater ecosystem. Not only that, but it split west from east, creating two distinct "subcontinents." In this episode, we explore how this sea came to be, what lived within it, and what effect it had on land ecosystems of the time and the fossil record they left behind.

In the news: more crocs, the oldest fossils, a history of CO2, and unexpected fossil sex.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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 - Harpies

Spook-E - Harpies

October 5, 2019

Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.

It’s October, and we’re back with more Spook-E! Each week this month, we’re choosing a creepy creature and discussing how it – or something like – might evolve biologically, pulling inspiration from critters of the real world. This month’s theme: monsters of Greek mythology.

This episode, we turn to the multitude of stories about winged bird-like humanoids. How do you evolve something with wings and claws, a human face, and a penchant for thievery? Our creatures to create this time: Harpies.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 70 - Convergent Evolution

Episode 70 - Convergent Evolution

September 21, 2019

With all the incredible diversity of life, it’s fascinating how often evolution repeats itself. The fossil record and the modern world are full of signs of this pattern of convergent evolution – similar pressures drive organisms to similar features and lifestyles. In this episode, we’ll talk about what exactly convergent evolution entails, share some of our favorite examples, and talk about how things can get a bit confusing.

Did we mention your favorite example of convergent evolution?

In the news: rhino DNA, baby sea turtles, sea snake breathing, and dinosaur temperatures.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 69 - Ankylosaurs

Episode 69 - Ankylosaurs

September 7, 2019

It’s dinosaur time again! This episode, the spotlight is on the “living tanks” of the Mesozoic, the armored ankylosaurs. These impressive creatures were covered head to tail in dazzling armor that puts most other fortified animals to shame. We’ll discuss what exactly they may have been doing with that armor and how they fit into dinosaur-filled ecosystems. Oh, and we’ll talk about those tail clubs, too.

In the news: shark-bitten whales, an early hominin skull, “killer” claws, and pterosaur poop.

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

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

Muscial 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 68 - Evolution of Eyes

Episode 68 - Evolution of Eyes

August 24, 2019

If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance you’re using one of the most incredible tools in the animal toolkit: the eye! In this episode, we discuss what’s known – and what’s suspected – about the incredible evolutionary history of the eye. How many types of eyes are there? What is an eye, anyway? Just how difficult is it to evolve something so intricate and complex?  All this and more!

In the news: a giant parrot, a giant penguin, ancient RNA, and crinoid rafts.

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

We're going to be at DragonCon 2019!

The Common Descent Store is open! Get merch! http://zazzle.com/common_descent

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcast/
PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduw

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

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