Palaeo After Dark

In this episode, the gang discusses two studies that look at the extent to which the ecological preferences of an organism are linked to that organism's morphology. Meanwhile, Curt has an existential crisis, Amanda stops caring to the extreme, and James desperately asks for another take.

References:

Smithson, Timothy R., Kelly R. Richards, and Jennifer A. Clack. "Lungfish diversity in Romer's Gap: reaction to the end‐Devonian extinction."Palaeontology 59.1 (2016): 29-44.

Cothran, Rickey D., et al. "Phenotypically similar but ecologically distinct: differences in competitive ability and predation risk among amphipods."Oikos 122.10 (2013): 1429-1440.

Direct download: Podcast_93_-_Alien_Shrimp_Thing_Modern_and_Fossil_Ecomorphy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that describe the root systems of the first "tree-like" plants, the giant lycopsids from the Carboniferous. Also, Amanda's cat finds a brand new toy, James over commits to a bit, and Curt pulls the strings behind the scene.

References:

Thomas, Barry A., and Leyla J. Seyfullah. "Stigmaria Brongniart: a new specimen from Duckmantian (Lower Pennsylvanian) Brymbo (Wrexham, North Wales) together with a review of known casts and how they were preserved." Geological Magazine 152.05 (2015): 858-870.

Hetherington, Alexander J., Christopher M. Berry, and Liam Dolan. "Networks of highly branched stigmarian rootlets developed on the first giant trees." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016): 201514427.

Direct download: Podcast_92_-_The_Root_of_the_Problem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that study how human beings have affected the evolutionary trajectories of other organisms. Meanwhile, Amanda paints an imaginative scene, James describes the perfect human world, and Curt wins the most obscure movie reference. 

Music: "Central Park" by Charles Ives, used in accordance with Fair Use.

References:

LaZerte, Stefanie E., Hans Slabbekoorn, and Ken A. Otter. "Learning to cope: vocal adjustment to urban noise is correlated with prior experience in black-capped chickadees." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 283. No. 1833. The Royal Society, 2016.

Direct download: Podcast_91_-_A_Conservation_Conversation_Evolution_with_a_Human_Touch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that look at the evolutionary history of cats. Is there a trend towards an optimal cat size in evolution? Meanwhile, Curt admits to an embarrassing lack of 80's knowledge, Amanda wants to expand her cat menagerie, and James demonstrates his vocal range. WARNING TO HEADPHONE USERS LOUD NOISE DURING THE FIRST MINUTE OF THE PODCAST.

References:

Tseng, Z. Jack, et al. "Himalayan fossils of the oldest known pantherine establish ancient origin of big cats." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 281. No. 1774. The Royal Society, 2014.

Cuff, A. R., et al. "Big cat, small cat: reconstructing body size evolution in living and extinct Felidae." Journal of evolutionary biology 28.8 (2015): 1516-1525.

Direct download: Podcast_90_-_Big_Small_Cats.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two examples of cool animals trapped in amber. Meanwhile, James draws a line in the sand concerning food, Amanda can't decide which fictional animal is the cutest, Curt lies, and the gang gets dark while discussing children's fantasy fiction.

References:

Perrichot, Vincent, Bo Wang, and Michael S. Engel. "Extreme Morphogenesis and Ecological Specialization among Cretaceous Basal Ants." Current Biology 26.11 (2016): 1468-1472.

Xing, Lida, et al. "Mummified precocial bird wings in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber." Nature Communications 7 (2016).

Direct download: Podcast_89_-_Spicy_Maple_Glazed_Wings_A_Discussion_on_Fossils_in_Amber.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Podcast 88 - Fossil Murder Mysteries

The gang don their deerstalkers and dive into some palaeontological cold cases. Mystery and murder abound as they explore evidence for predation in the fossil record, with a supporting cast of stingrays, crabs, and some of Earth's oldest organisms. Also, James explains how terrifying the world is, Curtis reminds everyone that Deep Blue Sea is a thing, and Amanda puts the cat centre stage.

References:

Calderwood, J. & Sigwart, J. D. "Broken pieces: can variable ecological interactions be deduced from the remains of crab attacks on bivalve shells?" Lethaia (2016): 10.1111/let.12178.

Grun, T. B.. "Echinoid test damage by a stingray predator" Lethaia (2015): 10.1111/let.12165.

Porter, S. M. "TIny vampires in ancient seas: evidence for predation via perforation in fossils from the 780–740 million-year-old Chuar Group, Grand Canyon, USA." Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2016): 10.1098/rspb.2016.0221.

Direct download: Podcast_88_-_Fossil_Murder_Mysteries.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Everybody is back in the same zip code for an extra special episode focusing on fish faces and evolving trace fossils through time. Also, James enjoys the perks of podcasting in person, Amanda decides to be as general as possible, and Curt decides to aggressively Godwin's Law the podcast. Also, the gang invents a mixed drink on air and then things get.... weird. This episode is pretty much all over the place.

"The Ichnofacies": 1 part Dark Spiced Rum, 1 part agave syrup, served over ice

"Hyperfun" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

References:

Szrek, Piotr, et al. "A glimpse of a fish face—An exceptional fish feeding trace fossil from the Lower Devonian of the Holy Cross Mountains, Poland."Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 454 (2016): 113-124.

Lehane, James R., and A. A. Ekdale. "Morphometric analysis of graphoglyptid trace fossils in two dimensions: implications for behavioral evolution in the deep sea." Paleobiology 42.2 (2016): 317-334.

Direct download: Podcast_87_-_Leaving_a_Mark_Trace_Fossil_Changes_Through_Time.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that use functional morphology to determine when echolocation evolved in two groups of mammals, whales and bats. Also, Curt rattles off a wikipedia page on hamburgers, James fights against physics, and Amanda would rather talk about how terrifying Basilosaurus is. Also, to cut this off at the pass, a correction. Bats are the "SECOND" most diverse mammal group and rodents are the most diverse.

References:

Simmons, Nancy B., et al. "Primitive Early Eocene bat from Wyoming and the evolution of flight and echolocation." Nature 451.7180 (2008): 818-821.

Park, Travis, Erich MG Fitzgerald, and Alistair R. Evans. "Ultrasonic hearing and echolocation in the earliest toothed whales." Biology letters 12.4 (2016): 20160060.

Direct download: Podcast_86_-_Echolocation_in_the_Fossil_Record.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, the gang discusses two papers that use morphological and chemical proxies to understand the metabolism of fossil animals. Did all early tetrapods breathe through their skin? Were mosasaurs warm blooded? Also, James accidentally goes full stealth, Amanda instigates a Civil War, and Curt gets not-it'ed into bumbling through explaining geochemistry.

References:

Witzmann, Florian. "CO2‐metabolism in early tetrapods revisited: inferences from osteological correlates of gills, skin and lung ventilation in the fossil record." Lethaia (2015).

Harrell, T. Lynn, Alberto Pérez‐Huerta, and Celina A. Suarez. "Endothermic mosasaurs? Possible thermoregulation of Late Cretaceous mosasaurs (Reptilia, Squamata) indicated by stable oxygen isotopes in fossil bioapatite in comparison with coeval marine fish and pelagic seabirds." Palaeontology59.3 (2016): 351-363.

Direct download: Podcast_85_-_Hot_Blooded_Studying_Fossil_Metabolism.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

In this episode, the gang discusses two papers that try and piece apart the complicated evolutionary history of cyclostomes (lampreys and hagfish) and spiders. What did the ancestors of these things look like? Also, Amanda comes up with a lucrative business proposal, James hijacks the podcast to make a bold statement, and Curt is skeptical of history.

References:

Ota, Kinya G., et al. "Identification of vertebra-like elements and their possible differentiation from sclerotomes in the hagfish." Nature communications 2 (2011): 373.

Oisi, Yasuhiro, et al. "Craniofacial development of hagfishes and the evolution of vertebrates." Nature 493.7431 (2013): 175-180.

Garwood, Russell J., et al. "Almost a spider: a 305-million-year-old fossil arachnid and spider origins." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 283. No. 1827. The Royal Society, 2016.