The Common Descent Podcast
Episode 79 - Pterosaurs

Episode 79 - Pterosaurs

January 25, 2020

Episode 79 – Pterosaurs

The first pterosaur to be scientifically identified was Pterodactylus, more than 200 years ago. Since then, scientists have grappled with understanding these bizarre and fantastic animals, aided by inspired science and incredible discoveries. In this episode, we’ll discuss what we know – and what we don’t know – about how these animals evolved, survived, and ruled the skies in the Age of Reptiles. 

In the news: cassowary evolution, the oldest scorpions, sea floor taphonomy, and Neanderthal shells.

News: 00:08:30
Main Discussion: 00:38:30
Mid-discussion break: 01:22:00
Patron question: 02:10:00

We’ve donated our December 2019 Patreon earnings to WIRES to help with wildlife recovery in Australia. Learn more here: https://www.wires.org.au/

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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/

DragonCon 2019 Paleontology Hour Panel

DragonCon 2019 Paleontology Hour Panel

January 19, 2020

At DragonCon 2019, Will and David were part of the Paleontology Hour Panel, where a room full of nerds asked all their paleo-related questions to a panel of experts - and we recorded it!

We were joined on the panel by:
Trevor Valle @tattoosandbones
Charon Henning @TheOddAngel

 

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.

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 78 - Exaptation

Episode 78 - Exaptation

January 11, 2020

Hand a kitchen appliance to a child and they’re likely to find a whole new way to use it. This happens in evolution, too – traits adapted for one purpose turn out to be beneficial for a whole other reason, and so the trajectory of natural selection changes. The term for this is exaptation, but it’s a complicated concept, and not everyone even likes using the word. Let’s discuss what this word means, why it exists, and what some people find wrong with it.

In the news: the oldest forest, an ancient parent, young T. rex, and fossil lungfish.

News: 00:04:30
Main Discussion: 00:35:30
Mid-discussion break: 01:00:00

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.

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/

End of the Year Q&A 2019

End of the Year Q&A 2019

December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

We got a ton of questions this year, so enjoy the end of the decade with this extra-long edition of David and Will saying the things you want to hear!

See you in the ‘20s!

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.

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 77 - Fins to Feet: The Fish-Tetrapod Transition

Episode 77 - Fins to Feet: The Fish-Tetrapod Transition

December 28, 2019

Happy New Year!

As we transition into a new decade, this episode is about one of the most important and incredible transitions in the evolutionary history of life. In the Late Devonian, one particular group of bony fish spent many millions of years experimenting with new forms of fins, skulls, and lifestyles, ultimately giving rise to the first land-dwelling vertebrates and setting the stage for 300 million years of continental dominance.

In the news: the earliest penguins, ancient whale swimming, dinosaur lice, and really old brains.

News: 00:04:00
Main Discussion: 00:30:30
Mid-discussion break: 00:59:00

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.

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 76 - Horse Evolution

Episode 76 - Horse Evolution

December 14, 2019

The evolution of horses is a classic story, first because it is a beautiful example of evolution in the fossil record, and second because of how our scientific perspective of this story has shifted over the years. From the tiny forest-dwellers of the Eocene, barely recognizable as horse-relatives, to the mighty domesticated animals we know today, we’ll unpack what we know – and what we thought we knew – about horse evolution.

In the news: dinosaur teeth, alligator tools, ancient embryos, and dinosaur heads.

News: 00:05:00
Main discussion: 00:37:00
Mid-discussion break: 01:15:00
Patron question: 01:47:30

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

We made an appearance on The Science of Pokémon to talk about - what else? - fossil Pokémon! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/history-of-galar/id1287752766?i=1000459595554

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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.

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/

…But We Digress - Pokemon Paleontology

…But We Digress - Pokemon Paleontology

December 8, 2019

Welcome to the world of Pokémon Paleontology! In this digression – by popular demand – we explore how the fictional world of Pokémon draws inspiration from real world science, particularly in regard to fossils and evolution. We’ll name our favorite fossil Pokémon, discuss Pokémon evolution, and point out where the Poké-science gets wonky.

What’s your favorite bit of Pokémon science?

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

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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.

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 75 - The Great Oxidation Event

Episode 75 - The Great Oxidation Event

November 30, 2019

Time for another extinction! This time, we’re discussing what might be the most ancient, most mysterious, and most catastrophic mass extinction event of all time. The Great Oxidation Event marks the turning point that set our atmosphere on course to its current oxygen-rich state and made the Earth hospitable for life as we know it … at the expense of all the life that came before.

In the news: the largest ape, early pollinators, early birds, and early snakes.

News: 00:04:30
Main discussion: 00:36:00
Mid-discussion break: 01:09:30
Patron Question: 01:33:00

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

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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.

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 74 - South America

Episode 74 - South America

November 16, 2019

South America today is home to some of the most incredible ecosystems on the planet, and its fossil record is even more varied and fantastic. In this episode, we explore the history of the continent from its early formation to its long Cenozoic isolation, and we’ll highlight some of the strangest ancient creatures – especially its bizarre mammals – that have called South America home.

In the news: ancient ape locomotion, a Polish pliosaur, post-extinction Colorado, and one really old dinosaur.

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
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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.

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 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/
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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.

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/