The Common Descent Podcast
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/

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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.

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/

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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 - 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

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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

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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
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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/

Voices of La Brea - Bonus Episode

Voices of La Brea - Bonus Episode

August 10, 2019

We were in southern California for NAPC recently, so we sat down with a bunch of the crew from La Brea to get some insights into their work, their history, and their favorite things about the site.

In this audio, you’ll hear from:
Dr. Emily Lindsey, Assistant Curator and Excavation Site Director
Dr. Mairin Balisi, NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Laura Tewksbury-Wall, Senior Preparator
Sean Campbell, Preparator
Connie Clarke, Preparator
Students from the La Brea Tar Pits Field School

Thanks to everyone who spoke with us!

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 67 - The La Brea Tar Pits

Episode 67 - The La Brea Tar Pits

August 10, 2019

How odd that one of the world’s richest and most famous fossil sites isn’t on a mountain or in a desert, but in the heart of one of the world’s largest cities. In this episode, we’ll dive into the history of the La Brea Tar Pits, explore how the site came to be, and give just a taste of the staggering diversity of fossil finds that fuel research into the latest chapters of the Ice Age. Also, we’ll explain why “tar pits” isn’t really a great name for them.

In the news: a Cambrian Millennium Falcon, turtle bones, mammal ancestors, and a whale with a twist.

Don’t miss our Bonus Episode: Voices of La Brea, including interviews with a bunch of the crew!

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/

Episode 66 - Elephants

Episode 66 - Elephants

July 27, 2019

This episode, we take a deep dive into the evolutionary story of Earth’s largest land mammals. Extinction has left us with only three elephant species today, but for tens of millions of years their extended family, the proboscideans, came in many weird and wondrous forms, from mammoths to mastodons to shovel-tuskers and more.

In the news: clam secrets, weird bird feet, surprise Greek humans, and early hominin breastfeeding.

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

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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPC
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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 65 - The Late Devonian Extinction(s)

Episode 65 - The Late Devonian Extinction(s)

July 13, 2019

It’s Episode 65, and you know what that means … extinction! This time, we address the ancient and confusing Late Devonian extinction. This is traditionally considered one of the “Big 5,” but it doesn’t seem to be “one” extinction at all. Geologists and paleontologists continue to work at piecing together the various causes and consequences that create an extended series – several millions years long – of very unfortunate events that altogether comprise one of the worst biological crises in Earth history.

In the news: tyrannosaur smells, peccary behavior, and a talk (by us) about our podcast!

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
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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/