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Palaeocast

Science Podcasts

A free webseries exploring the fossil record and the evolution of life on Earth.

A free webseries exploring the fossil record and the evolution of life on Earth.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

A free webseries exploring the fossil record and the evolution of life on Earth.

Twitter:

@Palaeocast

Language:

English

Contact:

+447877232646


Episodes

Episode 145: Scleromochlus

10/5/2022
Scleromochlus is an animal that has been known for over 100 years, and has been frequently suggested as being an ancestor to pterosaurs. It hails from the Late Triassic of Scotland, and there are fewer than 10 specimens known. Unfortunately the preservation of this small reptile means that it is very difficult to interpret. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and CT scanning, new evidence from Scleromochlus reveals new anatomical insights, and further supports Scleromochlus...

Episode 144: Russell's Dinosauroid

9/15/2022

Duration:01:08:11

Episode 143: The Palaeontographical Society Pt2

9/8/2022

Duration:00:19:13

Episode 142: The Palaeontographical Society Pt1

8/16/2022
This year marks the 175th anniversary of The Palaeontographical Society. Having been established in 1847, PalSoc is the world’s oldest Society devoted specifically to the advancement of palaeontological knowledge in existence. The primary role of Pal Soc is to promote the description and illustration of British fossils, which it does through monographs. In the first part of this two-part episode, we speak to Dr Victor Monin a historian of science who specialises in the history of...

Duration:00:58:36

Episode 141: Bolca Fish

7/15/2022
Bolca is a site of exceptional preservation of fossils (termed a konservat lagerstätte) located close to Verona, Italy. This 50 million year old limestone was deposited in the Eocene Epoch and contains over 500 species of plants, arthropods terrestrial vertebrates and most notably a lot of fish! The preservation at Bolca is so detailed that even the external colouration of the skin and internal anatomy of many of these fossils can be seen. Exploring the taphonomy (the processes that occur...

Duration:00:59:46

Episode 140: Aquatic Spinosaurids

6/20/2022
In the last few years there has been lots of new work on the iconic Spinosaurus - was it aquatic? What about its relatives? What kind of evidence can we look at to tell us this answer? In this episode we speak with Dr. Matteo Fabbri, from the Field Museum of Chicago, who has been working on Spinosaurus and other relatives and has recently published a detailed study supporting the idea that some spinosaurids were likely a swimming, aquatic dinosaur at least part of the time. He walks us...

Duration:01:03:00

Episode 139: Marrellomorphs

5/16/2022
Marrellomorphs are the group of early Paleozoic arthropods that get their name from the well-known Burgess Shale fossil Marrella splendens. They have for a long time been considered to be closely related to the trilobites, based on similarities in their gills, but numerous studies have since suggested they are closer related to mandibulate arthropods (crustaceans, insects & myriapods), although their strange appearance means other relationships might still be plausible. Since they have a...

Duration:00:52:52

Episode 138: Hispaniolan Sloths

4/20/2022
Sloths (or do you pronounce it “sloths”?), are a group of tree-dwelling xenarthrans from South and Central America. They are well known for their sedentary lifestyles where they just hang around and seemingly do fairly little. But has this always been the case? When we look back at the fossil record of sloths, what kinds of ecologies do we see? How far back does their fossil record actually go? In this episode, we speak to Dr Robert McAfee (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine)...

Duration:01:02:25

Episode 137: Tanis

2/25/2022
The end-Cretaceous mass extinction was a cataclysmic asteroid impact that ushered in the end of the non-avian dinosaurs and forever changed the course of evolution on Earth. But what can we say about the timing of the event, other than it happened 66 million years ago? Well, it turns out that Tanis, a relatively-recently discovered fossil site in North Dakota, is full of lines of evidence that are allowing earth scientists to piece together when the impact occurred. In this episode, we’re...

Duration:01:00:35

Episode 136: Burmese Amber Pt2b

2/15/2022
Continuing our mini series on Burmese Amber, we now turn our focus to the ethics of working on this fossil material. Can possessing or working on amber from Myanmar ever be considered ethical? In the first part of this episode, we examined the political context, work around Myanmar’s fossil exportation laws and follow the money back through the trade routes. Now, in the second part, we discuss why it’s currently unethical to study Burmese amber, what palaeontologists can do about that, and...

Duration:00:41:33

Episode 135: Burmese Amber Pt2

2/3/2022
Continuing our mini series on Burmese Amber, we now turn our focus to the ethics of working on this fossil material. Can possessing or working on amber from Myanmar ever be considered ethical? In the first part of this episode, we examine the political context, work around Myanmar’s fossil exportation laws and follow the money back through the trade routes. In the second part (released in two weeks), we’ll be discussing why it’s currently unethical to study Burmese amber, what...

Duration:00:46:26

Episode 134: Mammal Locomotion and Ecology

1/16/2022
In this episode we talk to Professor Christine Janis about mammal palaeontology, and her career. Christine is one of the world’s foremost experts in mammal palaeontology and mammalogy. She has authored dozens of scientific papers, and has been co-author of the major textbook Vertebrate Life for the last 20 years. Christine has had a long and distinguished career, and is currently a researcher at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her work is particularly focused on mammal locomotion and...

Duration:00:51:47

Episode 133: Drawing and Painting Dinosaurs

1/2/2022
It can be argued that palaeoart is the single biggest hook for getting people interested in prehistoric life. It takes the complex scientific terminology and data found within the academic literature and translates it into a reconstruction of an extinct organism. It is only through palaeoart that we can visualise some extinct organisms (particularly the vertebrates, and dinosaurs in this instance, whose external tissues are rarely preserved as fossils) and show some of the behaviours they...

Duration:01:09:40

Episode 132: Burmese Amber Pt1b

12/15/2021
Burmese amber is well known for preserving fossils in exquisite details. This amber is dated to around 100 million years old, representing the Albian - Cenomanian ages of the Cretaceous period, so would have been deposited whilst non-avian dinosaurs still walked the land. Fossils preserved in this amber include representatives from numerous different groups including arachnids, insects, vertebrates, and plants. Whilst the amber itself (as fossilised tree sap/resin) is produced in a...

Duration:00:42:22

Episode 131: Burmese Amber Pt1

12/2/2021
Burmese amber is well known for preserving fossils in exquisite details. This amber is dated to around 100 million years old, representing the Albian - Cenomanian ages of the Cretaceous period, so would have been deposited whilst non-avian dinosaurs still walked the land. Fossils preserved in this amber include representatives from numerous different groups including arachnids, insects, vertebrates, and plants. Whilst the amber itself (as fossilised tree sap/resin) is produced in a...

Duration:00:45:14

Episode 130: Bats

10/30/2021
After rodents, bats are the second largest group of mammals, representing a staggering 20% of all mammal species. They can be found all over the world, with the exception of cold climates, where they often play incredibly important ecological roles. Their ecologies (ways in which they live) go well beyond the cave-hanging, moth-eating stereotypes and diets can also be based on fruits, nectar or even blood. In fact, some tropical plants rely solely upon bats for pollination! But when did...

Duration:00:57:09

Episode 129: Penguins

10/1/2021
Whether it be because of their unique shape, comical walking or extreme ecology, there can be no denying that penguins are incredibly popular and charismatic animals. But what actually makes a penguin a penguin and how are they different from other birds? Have penguins always been, well, 'penguiny'? Joining us for this interview are Simone Giovanardi and Daniel Thomas who have just described a new species of giant penguin from New Zealand. Together, we explore penguin evolution and how...

Duration:01:13:35

Episode 128: Coprolite Inclusions Pt2

7/31/2021
One of the factors that makes palaeontology such a popular science is its constant ability to surprise us. It seems almost every week that a new study is released that significantly adds to our understanding of ancient life. This could be in relation to a new species, a new analysis or new fossil locality. In this episode, we discuss a new discovery that not only yields a new species, but also provides direct dietary evidence and has us re-evaluating the potential for food to be preserved in...

Duration:00:50:17

Episode 127: Coprolite Inclusions

7/19/2021
One of the factors that makes palaeontology such a popular science is its constant ability to surprise us. It seems almost every week that a new study is released that significantly adds to our understanding of ancient life. This could be in relation to a new species, a new analysis or new fossil locality. In this episode, we discuss a new discovery that not only yields a new species, but also provides direct dietary evidence and has us re-evaluating the potential for food to be preserved in...

Duration:00:37:00

Episode 126: Beasts Before Us

6/16/2021
In this episode, we talk to our very own Dr Elsa Panciroli about her new book Beasts Before Us. In it, she tells the untold story of mammalian evolution, tracing the origin of synapsids back to the Carboniferous. You’ll be taken to fossil sites around the world to meet some of these pioneering animals and some of the palaeontologists that discovered them. For this interview, we’ll give you an overview of the early evolution of synapsids and dispel many of the misconceptions about what our...

Duration:01:01:08