The Common Descent Podcast
Episode 62 – Amber

Episode 62 – Amber

June 1, 2019

When it comes to exceptional forms of preservation, it’s hard to beat amber. These fossilized chunks of tree resin have provided some of the most incredible ancient remains ever found. In this episode, we’ll discuss how amber forms and where the most famous amber deposits are, and we'll just scratch the surface of the astonishing diversity of amber-enclosed treasures that teach us so much about ancient ecosystems.

In the news: dinosaur baby steps, ancient red mice, tip-toeing sauropods, and really old fungus.

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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/

Silver Screen Science - King Kong (1933)

Silver Screen Science - King Kong (1933)

June 1, 2019

Part 1 of 5 in this month’s series: KaiJune!

There’s a new Godzilla movie, and that means it’s time for more movie science! All June, we’ll be exploring giant monster movies, centering around two of the most famous examples of all time: King Kong and Godzilla. How do these movies handle such subjects as prehistoric creatures, the science of paleontology, and the portrayal of scientists?

This episode, we begin where it began: King Kong (1933).

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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 61 - Behavior in the Fossil Record

Episode 61 - Behavior in the Fossil Record

May 18, 2019

It’s easy to see how fossils can teach us what ancient animals looked like, or how they evolved. But what about the ways they moved, ate, socialized, reproduced? In this episode, we explore the innovative ways paleontologists have devised to interpret the behavior of ancient animals. From their bones, their tracks, their living relatives, and modern clever experimentation, we can come to understand more than you’d ever imagine about behavior in the fossil record.

In the news: a Denisovan jaw, a new bat-winged dinosaur, a cave of wonders, and a flapping robot.

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How do you become a paleontologist? A GREAT post by our friends at Time Scavengers!
https://timescavengers.blog/2019/05/13/how-do-you-become-a-paleontologist/

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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 60 - Turtles

Episode 60 - Turtles

May 4, 2019

Turtles are so weird and wonderful. They're unlike any other living reptiles, mostly because they've turned their entire torso skeleton into an armor-home. A glimpse into the fossil record reveals that they've been this way for more than 200 million years. And yet, with all our data on living and extinct turtles, they remain one of the most mysterious and confusing living vertebrate groups. Here's an episode about all of that.

In the news: death rolls, one huge predator, one weird crab, the Gray Site rhino, and a poop snake.

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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 59 - Bats

Episode 59 - Bats

April 20, 2019

Many groups of life have conquered the land and water, but only four times in evolutionary history has life taken to the air. The most recent group to achieve flight are bats. Their combination of flight and advanced echolocation have earned them an incredible diversity, a worldwide distribution, and a deep-seated place in human culture, but their evolutionary history is a long-standing mystery, and their fossil record is nearly non-existent. But that's not going to stop us from geeking out about them!

In the news: dinosaur scales, diverging crows, a new human, seal evolution, and that butchered mastodon again!

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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 58 - The Bone Wars

Episode 58 - The Bone Wars

April 6, 2019

It was the late 1800s, and paleontology was just getting started in the Americas. Two prolific and passionate scientists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, among the earliest prominent fossil researchers on the continent, struck up a legendary rivalry. Their battles took place in the field and in the literature, and over three decades they engaged in some of the nastiest and most petulant quarreling in scientific history. This infamous era in early paleontology became known as The Bone Wars.

In the news: an egg in an ancient bird, a new mastodon, a giant T. rex, and the day the Cretaceous ended.

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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 57 - Evolution of Flowering Plants (Angiosperms)

Episode 57 - Evolution of Flowering Plants (Angiosperms)

March 23, 2019

Look who's back - our favorite paleobotanist, Aly Baumgartner!

And that means it’s time for more plants! As you may have noticed, the world around you is absolutely full of flowers. Angiosperms have dominated nearly every terrestrial ecosystem on the planet, but the story of their early evolution is a famous conundrum. Darwin called it an “abominable mystery,” but there are some tantalizing clues as to how this group of plants got their start and then evolved to the incredible diversity we see today.

In the news: new Cayman mammals, louse camouflage, a geologic orrery, and language evolution.

Follow Aly on Twitter: @kyrietree

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

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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/

Sloth Chat Livestream 2018

Sloth Chat Livestream 2018

March 19, 2019

In April 2018, we hosted this Sloth Chat Livestream!

Following up from Episode 24 (Sloths), we were joined by sloth scientists Ryan Haupt and Robert McAfee to answer audience questions about sloths, living and extinct!

For anyone who didn't (or doesn't want to) watch it on YouTube, here it is in audio format for your listening pleasure!

You can also still watch the original recording on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qirqw5ei45U

Find Ryan:
https://ryanhaupt.com/
Twitter: @haupt

Find Robert:
http://slothsearch.com
Twitter: @DocSloth

Hear Ryan and Robert discuss sloths on Science … Sort Of:
https://sciencesortof.com/show-notes/2014/10/episode-207-drop-bears-of-south-america
https://sciencesortof.com/show-notes/2016/6/episode-242-the-little-slothologist-that-could

Hear Will and David chat with Ryan on Science … Sort Of:
https://sciencesortof.com/show-notes/2018/7/episode-287-descent-into-madness

Keep up to date with modern sloth conservation with the Sloth Conservation Foundation, founded by Dr. Becky Cliffe, the one sloth scientist who didn’t make it to our Sloth Chat: https://slothconservation.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.

 

Episode 56 – The Evolution of Evolutionary Theory

Episode 56 – The Evolution of Evolutionary Theory

March 9, 2019

One of the main themes of this podcast is the evolutionary history of life. This concept is familiar to all of us today, but our current understanding of evolution is the culmination of a very long history of scientific inquiry. In this episode, we’ll introduce you to some of the biggest names in this story, from Aristotle to Darwin, as we explore the evolution of evolutionary theory.

In the news: tiny frogs, an ancient nesting ground, algae evolution, and a tusked sea cow.

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

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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 55 - The “Sixth Extinction” (Modern Biodiversity Crisis)

Episode 55 - The “Sixth Extinction” (Modern Biodiversity Crisis)

February 23, 2019

Usually, when we talk about mass extinction, we’re referring to events long past. But scary levels of extinction are a fact of our current world, as well. So much so that current events have been labeled the "Sixth Extinction.” In this episode, we discuss just how bad our current ecological crisis is, what’s causing it, and whether or not it truly deserves to be called a mass extinction. We also discuss what’s already being done – and what we can all do – to counteract catastrophe. It’s a depressing one, folks, but all isn’t lost. Stay informed and stay hopeful!

In the news: a new island, ancient turtle cancer, megalodon extinction, and that one Archaeopteryx feather.

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

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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/