Palaeo After Dark (general)

The gang discusses coprolites (fossil feces) and the interesting information that we can glean from them. Specifically, they talk about two papers which look at moa coprolites from New Zealand to determine aspects of the New Zealand ecology before human intervention. But the powers of the internet conspire to destroy our intrepid podcasting trio, ultimately claiming Amanda's internet for nearly half of the episode. Can James and Curt survive having to talk to each other for a whole 30 minutes? Tune in to find out.

 

Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

Today the friends talk about shit. Yes of all the words for what comes out of your bottom, the only one of them that we can use in this write up is shit. Think about that. What does that mean about us? As a people? As a world?

Anyways, there is a lot we can learn from shit. The friends look at how shit from large angry things that are brother and sister to things that could fly can tell us about the world these angry things lived in. These large angry things are now dead. But we still have a lot of their shit lying around, and we can use it to find out what they ate. What they find is that these angry things might have ate some things that help green things which make food from the sun to grow, but they probably did not move those green things around in their shit. They also find that there were animals that lived in the angry things which died when the angry things died. All in all, it turns out there is a lot that shit can tell us.

 

References: 

Carpenter, Joanna K., et al. "An avian seed dispersal paradox: New Zealand's extinct megafaunal birds did not disperse large seeds." Proc. R. Soc. B 285.1877 (2018): 20180352. 

 Boast, Alexander P., et al. "Coprolites reveal ecological interactions lost with the extinction of New Zealand birds." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018): 201712337. 

Direct download: Podcast_136_-_The_Haunted_Podcast_Returns.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses a few papers that illustrate how different evolutionary processes can generate very similar morphological structures. Yes, we're talking about convergence again. But this time, things get kind of weird in the second half. Meanwhile, Amanda wrestles with the love of her cats, Curt understands his place in the group, and James invents a brand new way for birds to fly.

 

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

 

Today our friends talk about things that are not close but look a lot like each other. The first part is about animals that eat other things that are living. They say that sometimes it is the world around things that make them look like each other. Sometimes it is things like how much rain there is or how fast they grow up. So it is not always the fact that they all eat the same thing. But it might be. More things need to be done to see more about animals that eat other things. The second part is about things that fly and have no teeth, but also big angry animals with big teeth and no hair. They say that there is a part of where the leg ends that points behind that has parts that make the back part of the animal move, and that it is part of how the big angry animals with big teeth and no hair breathe. But they don't say how they figure this out very well. They confuse our friends. Then they say that this part of where the leg ends that points behind and the parts that make the back part of the animal move are important because they help the animals that can fly with no teeth fly the best of any big animal that can fly. They say it is important for the animals that can fly with no teeth to jump up when they fly. Our friends do not agree.

 

References:

Tseng, Z. Jack, and John J. Flynn. "Structure-function covariation with nonfeeding ecological variables influences evolution of feeding specialization in Carnivora." Science advances 4.2 (2018): eaao5441. 

 Macaluso, Loredana, and Emanuel Tschopp. "Evolutionary changes in pubic orientation in dinosaurs are more strongly correlated with the ventilation system than with herbivory." Palaeontology (2018). 

Direct download: Podcast_135_-_Competing_Convergences.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that look how the environmental stresses caused from warming temperatures can affect fish. Specifically, we look at a paleontological study focusing on the Permian and Late-Triassic extinctions (often considered to be runaway greenhouse scenarios) as well as a modern study looking at the impact modern global climate change might have on goby fishes. Also, James offers to train Amanda, Curt starts a brand new business venture, and Amanda decides to pump pure sugar into her veins. Also, apologies for the fact that James has finally finished Dragon Ball Z and naturally keeps finding patterns.

 

Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about papers that show how changes around the world can cause animals that move through the water and breathe water to die. The first paper talks about animals that move through the water and breathe water that died a very long time ago, during a time when nearly everything died. During this time when nearly everything died a lot of really bad things happened, like the world got a lot warmer and the water became hard to breathe. During this time, it appears that some of the animals that move through the water and breathe water actually did really well, while almost all of the other animals living in the water did really bad. The animals that did really well would eventually become a family we see today that has big teeth, eats a lot, and has soft parts inside. The paper says that maybe the way these animals lived help them get through this bad time when nearly everything died.

The second paper looks at animals that move through water and breathe water which are around today, and how these animals are being hurt by how much warmer it has been getting each year. They took some of these animals and raised them for a year in a warm home. Then they took the animals and made it warmer and saw if the animals were happy. When the animals got sad, they stopped and looked at how warm it got. They found that lots of things changed how warm the animals could get before they got sad. Animals that were brother and sister got sad in the same kinds of ways. Also, how warm the animals got in the year of training changed when the animals got sad. They showed that there were a lot of things to consider when we want to know how warm these animals can get before they become sad.

 

References:

 Vázquez, Priscilla, and Matthew E. Clapham. "Extinction selectivity among marine fishes during multistressor global change in the end-Permian and end-Triassic crises." Geology45.5 (2017): 395-398. 

 Di Santo, Valentina, and Phillip S. Lobel. "Body size and thermal tolerance in tropical gobies." Journal of experimental marine biology and ecology 487 (2017): 11-17. 

Direct download: Podcast_134_-_Training_Fish_in_the_Hyperbolic_Time_Chamber.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses the various ways that injuries and diseases can be preserved in the fossil record, as well as the information these pathologies can give us on ancient biodiversity and behavior. Also, Amanda is coerced into accepting a delivery, James discusses the ways in which he sizes up the world, and Curt makes cutting comparisons between fictional and real life characters.

 

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

Today our friends talk about things that do not look right because the animal is broken or sick. First our friends talk about animals that are good to eat that have many arms. Some of these animals that are good to eat that have many arms are very old and do not live anymore. These animals that are gone have a rock inside their body that used to be on the outside but is now on the inside. One of these animals that are good to eat that have many arms has one of these rocks inside them and the rock has been hurt. We can look inside the rock where it has been hurt and see that it is not full of rock. We think that this rock was hurt by a little animal with many legs and a soft body that often makes water animals today sick or hurt. We think that this little animal with many legs and a soft body might have made this animal that is good to eat with many arms so sick it could not eat and died. Second our friends talk about an animal with four short legs and no hair. This animal with four short legs and no hair has a long behind. This long behind can sometimes fall off and the animal is fine. A big angry animal will eat the the behind and leave the animal with four short legs and no hair alone. Our friends talk about a very old animal with four short legs and no hair that had a behind that could fall off. It is the same as some living animals with four short legs and no hair, but it is also not the same. But it means that maybe the very oldest of these animals with four short legs and no hair could leave their behinds for big angry animals to eat, and they could run away and be safe, and so this thing that these animals can do is not a new thing but an old thing that has been around a long time, and not being able to do it is the new thing. 

 

References:

LeBlanc, A. R. H., et al. "Caudal autotomy as anti-predatory behaviour in Palaeozoic reptiles." Scientific reports 8.1 (2018): 3328. 

 Hoffmann, René, et al. "A Late Cretaceous pathological belemnite rostrum with evidence of infection by an endoparasite." Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen287.3 (2018): 335-349. 

Direct download: Podcast_133_-_Long-Standing_Pathologies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang spends their 5th anniversary podcast discussing the evolution and distribution of early tetrapods. So basically, we messed up. But at least you can enjoy some insightful discussions about how to improve Sabrina the Teenage Witch. That's something, right?

 

Right?

 

Up-Goer Five (James Edition):

The group forget and barely care about their day which comes around every year for five times now. This time they talk about animals with four legs at around the time where they just got out of the water and lived on land before a lot of them died when the things that are not animals and are green and make air went away and everything got less wet.

The first paper looks at when these wet areas went away and whether these early animals with four legs ended up with fewer animals that are found over a wider area or lots of animals that are each found in only one area each. It had been though that this change in how much wet made these animals got moved into lots of small areas, but the new paper shows that actually animals with four legs got a lot moved to much wider areas, but that this is because the animals with four legs that lived in water became much less easier to be found while animals with four legs that live on land and have balls that their babies live in early on that don't need water take over and change how animals with four legs lived on the big ball of rock we live on.

The second paper looks at where animals with four legs lived before and after the bad time where almost all life died. The paper is interested at whether more animals lived on the middle of the outside of the big ball of rock that we all lived on or whether more of them lived near the top or the bottom of the outside of the big ball of rock. The paper is looking at whether there really is a time where animals with four legs do not live at the middle of the big ball of rock during the bad times where everything was dying. The paper looks at this by seeing how much the rocks lie to us and hide animals that were really there. One way they do this is by looking at tracks as well as dead bodies. This leads to shouting but both people are right and it is okay. The paper shows that while there was some time where there were less animals with four legs in the middle of the big ball of rock, they were still there and so maybe there were just less of them than before but they were not all dead.

 

References:

 Dunne, Emma M., et al. "Diversity change during the rise of tetrapods and the impact of the ‘Carboniferous rainforest collapse’." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 285. No. 1872. The Royal Society, 2018. 

 Bernardi, Massimo, Fabio Massimo Petti, and Michael J. Benton. "Tetrapod distribution and temperature rise during the Permian–Triassic mass extinction." Proc. R. Soc. B. Vol. 285. No. 1870. The Royal Society, 2018. 

 

Additional music by Russell Watson used in accordance with fair use under the creative commons license. Music was modified from its original form.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/

Direct download: Podcast_132_-_Weve_Been_Doing_This_For_Five_Years.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that look at the complex evolutionary history of sauropod dinosaurs. In particular, these papers try to determine how sauropods geography might have affected their evolutionary history. Also, James learns some valuable lessons about hot tub safety, Curt mindlessly quotes Futurama, Amanda discusses the surprising skills of her cats, and everyone has a deeply disturbing realization about the Flintstones.

 

Up-Goer Five (James Edition):

This week the group looks at two papers that focus on big stupid angry animals with no hair. Both papers are looking at the type of big stupid angry animals with no hair that were very big and had thick legs and really long necks. The papers are interested in where the big angry animals with really long necks lived, and how where they lived change over time.

The first paper looks at a new big angry animal with a long neck from the place where food is big and people are armed. The reason this animal is interesting is because it is part of a group that was thought to all be dead but the new animal shows that they lived longer than we thought. All the older animals in its group came from a long way away, and so this animal shows that the group lived longer than we thought and that they did so by moving into a new place.

The second paper also looks at a big angry animal with a long neck from the hot place with the long water running through it. This animal is part of a group we find on lots of other places, but not here. This animal shows that the group made it into the very large land where the rains are, even though a different group of animals with very long necks are usually there.

 

References

 Sallam, Hesham M., et al. "New Egyptian sauropod reveals Late Cretaceous dinosaur dispersal between Europe and Africa." Nature ecology & evolution (2018): 1. 

 Royo-Torres, Rafael, et al. "Descendants of the Jurassic turiasaurs from Iberia found refuge in the Early Cretaceous of western USA." Scientific Reports 7.1 (2017): 14311. 

Direct download: Podcast_131_-_Would_Sauropod_Ribs_Be_Tasty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that use ichnology (the study of traces left by animals) as evidence for biological diversity in regions where body fossils are not preserved. Also, Amanda and James have a vigorous debate about nouns while Curt retreats to his happy place, and everybody kind of vaguely remembers that thing from that one episode of Dragon Ball.

 

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

Today our friends talk about things that were once there but aren't now but you can still see where they were. Using these things that you can see where they once were, we can tell what these things were doing and what kind of place they lived in. A lot of the time we find the things that you can see where they once were, but we don't actually find the things themselves. That can mean a lot of different things. It might mean that the place they were living in was very small and didn't have a lot of space for lots of things to live in. It might mean that the place was not very good to live in and only a few things could live there. Our friends talk about a paper that says that things living in this one place were very different than things that probably lived in other places because the space was very different. Our friends also look at a paper that says someone found something of an animal that was once there but is not there now, and at the same time we have actual body pieces of the animal, just in different places. They think this thing that was left behind when the animal was once there but isn't there now means that this animal was in water. People don't know if this animal first showed up on land or in water and it seems like this should mean they first show up in water. These things that were made by something that was once there but isn't there anymore is really very good for showing things that might be around but we don't know for sure. Using these things we can show that sometimes things were around before we actually thought they were when we look at body pieces.

 

References:

 Reolid, Matías, et al. "Ichnological evidence of semi-aquatic locomotion in early turtles from eastern Iberia during the Carnian Humid Episode (Late Triassic)." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 490 (2018): 450-461. 

 Marriott, Susan B., Lance B. Morrissey, and Robert D. Hillier. "Trace fossil assemblages in Upper Silurian tuff beds: evidence of biodiversity in the Old Red Sandstone of southwest Wales, UK." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 274.3-4 (2009): 160-172. 

Direct download: Podcast_130_-_Trace_Fossil_Diversity_is_Over_9000.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discuss a recent paper which suggests that pollinating butterflies and moths may have evolved well before the evolution of flowering plants (angiosperms). Curt seizes this opportunity to force them all to read about exaptation. Meanwhile, James has some unique ideas about automotive safety and Amanda demonstrates her amazing Google skills in the face of uncertainty. 

 

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

 

Today our friends talk about a thing that is very important. Many people have an idea that a thing came about because it had a use. But it might be, sometimes, that a thing came about because it was together with a thing that had a use. Or maybe it even came about because it just did. Maybe not everything has to come about because it has a use. One of the things our friends read comes up with a name for this idea. And it talks about things that mean maybe that idea is right. And it also talks a lot about words and one of our friends thinks that that part is not fun. The other thing our friends read is about little things that fly and are colored pretty. These little pretty-colored things that fly are thought to have come about along with green things that smell good. But it seems that maybe these pretty-colored things that fly come about a lot earlier than the green things that smell good. This is just like that idea where a thing has come about even though it had no use for it yet.

 

References:

Gould, Stephen Jay, and Elisabeth S. Vrba. "Exaptation—a missing term in the science of form." Paleobiology 8.1 (1982): 4-15. 

 van Eldijk, Timo JB, et al. "A Triassic-Jurassic window into the evolution of Lepidoptera." Science advances 4.1 (2018): e1701568. 

Direct download: Podcast_129_-_Curt_Made_Us_Talk_About_Exaptation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang talks about conservation paleoecology; the study of the fossil record to inform modern conservation efforts. Specifically, they look at two papers, one which is an overview of the current issues in the field, and the other which focuses on how mass extinctions can change the distribution of species on the planet. Also, James has very strong opinions about the most recent Splatoon 2 Splatfest, Amanda nearly breaks an arm, and Curt tries in vain to hold everything together.

 

Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about how life is dying. A lot of people think life is dying faster than we think it should and that people might be causing life to die faster. The friends talk about how we can use the past to see how quickly life died in the past in order to let us know if the dying we see right now is a problem. There are a lot of people who have looked at the past and they find that people have changed the land and water and air a great deal. These changes do seem to have helped make life die faster. But there are things we can try to do to try and stop this, and keep more life in the land, water, and air. And we can use the past to understand what land, water, or air we should put the most work behind to really stop life from dying so quickly.

The friends then talk about a time when a lot of life died at once. At this time, a big change happened in the air, land, and water. At that time, most animals in the land, water, and air died off, but some animals did really well. They seemed to like the changes and moved all around. These animals that moved all around might have changed how life gets better after dying a lot. This suggests that animals moving all around might be something we see during times when big changes in the land, air, and water cause life to start dying really fast.

 

References: 

 Button, David J., et al. "Mass extinctions drove increased global faunal cosmopolitanism on the supercontinent Pangaea." Nature communications 8.1 (2017): 733. 

 Barnosky, Anthony D., et al. "Merging paleobiology with conservation biology to guide the future of terrestrial ecosystems." Science 355.6325 (2017): eaah4787. 

Direct download: Podcast_128_-_Conservation_Paleoecology.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang celebrates the new year by just talking about birds. Specifically, they look at two papers that use the evolutionary history of birds to explore if geographic changes or ecological adaptation controlled the macroevolutionary history of birds. Meanwhile, Amanda has some technical difficulties, James becomes Legion "Destroyer of Minds", and Curt is a dick to his friends. <Editor's Note: If you want to jump to the science, the discussion actually begins at 13 mins 10 secs>

 

Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

Today our friends look at two papers that both talk about animals that do not have hair or hard skin but rather have big pointed things on their face and can fly. The first paper looks at animals that do not have hair or hard skin but have big pointed things on their face and can fly and wants to see if these animals changed over time in and if they also changed the place they are from while changing over time. They say that most of the flying animals with no hair or hard skin but big pointed things on their face lived further down on the world until all the big angry animals with no hair that would eat them died and went away. Once all of those big angry animals were gone, the flying animals with no hair or hard skin but big pointed things on their face started moving all over the world and now live all over. They also say that they moved in a way that is easy to see and that it goes with whether it is warm or cold or wet or dry. The second paper also looks at these flying animals with no hair or hard skin but big pointed things on their face, and it talks about the "big change over time" idea. They use the big pointed thing on the animals face to tell this story. They say that the small groups of these animals changed over time in a different way than the big groups of these animals. They say that this means that the "big change over time" idea is right and that is what is going on to these flying animals with no hair or hard skin but with big pointed things on their face.

 

References:

 Cooney, Christopher R., et al. "Mega-evolutionary dynamics of the adaptive radiation of birds." Nature 542.7641 (2017): 344-347. 

 Claramunt, Santiago, and Joel Cracraft. "A new time tree reveals Earth history’s imprint on the evolution of modern birds." Science Advances 1.11 (2015): e1501005. 

Direct download: Podcast_127_-_Lets_Just_Talk_About_Birds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT