Survey Response and Q&A

April 29, 2018

Thanks to everyone who filled out our Listener Survey!

In this bonus episode, we’re discussing the feedback we got on the survey and how we’re planning for the future of the podcast.

And then we’re answering all the wonderful questions you asked on the survey in an extended Q&A session! This starts about 20 minutes in.

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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/

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Episode 33 - Ontogeny

April 22, 2018

Animals don’t start their lives as tiny copies of adults; there are all sorts of changes that a creature goes through from fertilization to birth and from newborn to mature. This development is called ontogeny. In this episode, we discuss how ontogenetic change impacts animals as they grow, what we can learn from these patterns, and how ontogeny can cause confusion in the fossil record.

In the news: colorful moth fossils, an enormous ichthyosaur, Neanderthals' strange faces, and sea turtle navigation.

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

Follow and Support us on:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.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.

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/

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Episode 32 - Naracoorte Caves, Australia

April 7, 2018

Over the past several hundred thousand years, Australia has witnesed numerous ice age cycles, ecosystems dominated by giant marsupials, the arrival of humans, the extinction of those giant animals, and more. And there may be no better window into this dynamic time period than the world-famous Naracoorte Caves of South Australia.

In the news: an infected dinosaur, humans' earliest steps in Canada, horny dinosaurs, and a four-eyed ancient lizard.

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

Follow and Support us on:
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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/

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Episode 31 - The Ediacaran Biota

March 25, 2018

Before life as we know it, and before even the Cambrian Explosion, there was a time when the Earth was home to an assortment of strange squishy creatures so unusual that they defy most of our best attempts at classification. This episode, we discuss life’s earliest experiments with complex bodies: the Ediacaran Biota.

In the news: the last pterosaurs, ancient lost tails, island spider evolution, and the legs of gators and crocs.

Please take our LISTENER SURVEY! https://goo.gl/forms/sY8YUr5cme59ORR03

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

Follow and Support us on:
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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 Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 30 - Prehistoric Poop

March 11, 2018

Everybody poops! Throughout the history of life on Earth, animals of all lifestyles have been littering the planet with little presents, and those few that fossilize become coprolites: unique time capsules that can serve as invaluable sources of information, not just on obvious stuff like ancient diets, but also about evolution, extinction, and more. This episode: we talk turds.

In the news: de-escalating plant evolution, reverse speciation in ravens, upside-down dinosaurs, and record-keeping giant sponges.

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

Follow and Support us on:
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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 Podcast music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome.
More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

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Episode 29 - Placoderms, The Armored Fish

February 25, 2018

In the earliest millennia of vertebrate life on Earth, the seas were home to the placoderms, a diverse group of extinct armored fish whose evolutionary innovations set the stage for some of the most important features of vertebrate life. This episode, we talk about some of history's most influential placoderms, with a special spotlight on the most famous of armored fish, the giant predator Dunkleosteus.

In the news: asteroids and volcanoes, running lizards, Shawn's turtle, walking fish, and more on broken mastodon bones.

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

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Episode 28 - Charles Darwin

February 11, 2018

Happy Darwin Day!
In honor of Chuck's birthday (Feb 12), we are joined this episode by Dr. Sarah Bray of the Discovering Darwin podcast, to chat about the man whose research and writings laid the groundwork for our modern understanding of biology and evolution: Charles Darwin!

In the news: orange crocs, insect evolution, and footprints at NASA!

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

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Episode 27 - Domestication

January 28, 2018

This episode, we explore the evolutionary innovation that brought us a diversity of animal companions, from corgis to cattle to cauliflower, and jump-started our species’ rise to world dominance: Domestication.

In the news: a colorful new dinosaur, super-ancient butterflies, the evolution of tail weaponry, and migrating whale barnacles.

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

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Episode 26 - Astrobiology

January 14, 2018

This episode, we look to the stars! Our discussion takes a tour across the field of astrobiology, the broad and thought-provoking science that seeks to answer the questions of how life arises, where it thrives, and where we might find it elsewhere in the universe, incorporating everything from astronomy to paleontology along the way.

In the news: Ancient Americans, a frozen baby rhino, unique dinosaur bones, and a surprising shared feature of cells.

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

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Episode 25 - The Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction

December 31, 2017

In this episode, we firmly establish a tradition of extinction-talk! This time, by request, it’s the latest major prehistoric extinction in Earth history, the event that took from us the mammoths, ground sloths, and other giants of the Ice Age, a mass extinction that our own species was around to witness (and perhaps even cause): the Pleistocene Megafaunal Extinction.

In the news: mistaken Archaeopteryx identity, ticks with a taste for dinosaurs, evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, and ancient bear hibernation.

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

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