Palaeo After Dark

The gang goes broad and tackles two papers that deal with evidence of sex and reproduction in the fossil record. Meanwhile, Amanda goes method, James invents a new scientific term, and Curt is haunted by one terrible joke that will not die.

"Hyperfun" Kevin MacLeod ( 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

"Up goer five" text summary

Today the group talks about fucking. Yes, fuck is one of the ten hundred most used words, while better and less bad words for fucking are not. You think what that means about people. Just think about it.

The first paper is looking at the oldest pictures of stuff that comes out of a man after he has had a fuck. This fuck water is from a small animal with no hard parts and so we usually do not know that the animal was there. However, the fuck water is different for different types of small animal, and so we can see what small animals with no hard parts were there without seeing the actual animals. The fuck water has also been ignored for a long time, so we may be able to find more fuck water and find out more about small animals with no hard parts.

The second paper is looking at some of the earliest things that might be animals and their babies. Looking at where the babies are and where the parents are, the paper tries to work out whether these things that might be animals that fucked or whether they just grew babies off of them on sticks. The numbers show that these maybe animals did not fuck, but grew babies on sticks. Other things that might be animals from the same time did fuck, and they are found in many more places. The fact that these maybe animals grew babies on sticks might explain why they are found in only one place while the ones that did fuck are found in lots of places.


Bomfleur, Benjamin, et al. "Fossilized spermatozoa preserved in a 50-Myr-old annelid cocoon from Antarctica." Biology letters 11.7 (2015): 20150431.

Mitchell, Emily G., et al. "Reconstructing the reproductive mode of an Ediacaran macro-organism." Nature (2015).

Direct download: Podcast_65_-_SEX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers about the evolution of quadrupedal lifestyle in ornithischian dinosaurs. Also, James discusses the joys of being a squid, Curt details the ideal political tag-team match,  and Amanda dreams of HD belts.

"Up goer five" text summary

The group talks about big angry animals without hair - again. This time they look at two studies that look at how one group of big angry animals with no hair went from walking on two feet to walking on four. Three different bands of friends in the group have gone back to walking on four feet by themselves. The first paper looks at figuring out the soft parts to work out how they walked and finds that each of these three types of big angry animals without hair walk in different ways, even though they all walk on four feet. The second paper looks at why these three types of animal have gone back to walking on four feet by seeing where they got big and whether it would make them fall forwards or back. This was studied by sticking heavy bits of animals with stuff on them onto animals which did not have stuff on them to see whether it made them fall over. The study shows that the different animal groups went onto four feet for different reasons, and this may explain why the different groups walking on four feet walk in different ways.


Maidment, Susannah CR, and Paul M. Barrett. "Does morphological convergence imply functional similarity? A test using the evolution of quadrupedalism in ornithischian dinosaurs." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 279.1743 (2012): 3765-3771.

Maidment, Susannah CR, Donald M. Henderson, and Paul M. Barrett. "What drove reversions to quadrupedality in ornithischian dinosaurs? Testing hypotheses using centre of mass modelling." Naturwissenschaften 101.11 (2014): 989-1001.

Direct download: Podcast_64_-_Walk_Before_You_Crawl_Convergence_in_Dinosaur_Gait.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT