Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers that look into long term trends in body size over time. The first paper looks at body size trends in corals, and the second looks at body size and ecology of terror birds. Meanwhile, James loses a bit of himself, Amanda is bad at transitions, and Curt goes places no one wants to go.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about two papers that look at how big things are and how that changes over time. The first paper looks at tiny animals that live together in a group and share their homes with even smaller living things that help give them food. It turns out that being small makes it good for the smaller things living with them. So this paper wants to see if these animals have been getting smaller over time. Turns out that it is not that easy, and that some of these earlier animals were bigger than today but probably did have even smaller living things with them helping them. But it seems like there is some bit of these animals getting smaller, so maybe these animals have gotten better at building homes for these even smaller living things.

The second paper looks at big angry animals that are close to things that can fly but these big angry animals could not fly. This paper looks to see if these animals lived at the same time and did the same things and were as big as each other, or do we see these animals doing different things at the same time or with one of them being bigger than the other. They find that most of the time, when there are two of these animals living at the same time, they are either doing different things or one of them is much bigger than the other. The paper says this shows that these animals were trying not to fight each other for the same stuff, but the friends have other questions about what could be going on.



LaBarge, Thomas W., Jacob D. Gardner, and Chris L. Organ. "The evolution and ecology of gigantism in terror birds (Aves, Phorusrhacidae)." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 291.2021 (2024): 20240235.

Dimitrijević, Danijela, Nussaïbah B. Raja, and Wolfgang Kiessling. "Corallite sizes of reef corals: decoupling of evolutionary and ecological trends." Paleobiology 50.1 (2024): 43-53.

Direct download: Podcast_285_-_All_Things_Big_and_Small.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT