Palaeo After Dark

The gang celebrates four years of podcasting with a lengthy discussion about living fossils. What do we mean when we use the term living fossil, and can we come up with an operational definition? Also, Amanda risks invoking the destructive powers of John Wick, James invents the best Mass Effect slash fiction, and Curt plans for Amanda's replacement.

Musical track, "Sail the Canals" from Mario Party 7 is owned by Nintendo and Hudson. Used under fair use.

Up-goer Five (Amanda Edition): 

Today our friends talk about animals that lived a long time ago but still kind of are here today. People say that these animals that lived a long time ago are still here today and have not become any different than they were a long time ago. But our friends have a talk about how the animals that lived a long time ago and do not look different today are actually very different today than they were a very long time ago. Some of them might not look different but their stuff that makes them them is actually very different. Some of them have family that used to look very different even though they look like old, old animals that lived a long time ago. In the end, our friends decided that animals that look like animals that lived a long time ago are actually not the ones that lived a long time ago.


Herrera‐Flores, Jorge A., Thomas L. Stubbs, and Michael J. Benton. "Macroevolutionary patterns in Rhynchocephalia: is the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) a living fossil?." Palaeontology (2017).

Kin, Adrian, and Błażej Błażejowski. "The horseshoe crab of the genus Limulus: living fossil or stabilomorph?." PLoS One 9.10 (2014): e108036.

Direct download: Podcast_106_-_A_Bunch_of_Living_Fossils_Four_Years_of_Podcasting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses extinction rates to determine if we are in a sixth mass extinction (spoilers we very much are). Also, Curt decides to refocus the podcast, Amanda describes a disturbing tale of assault with deadly pastry, and James  has some quasi-legal ideas of branding.

Up-Goer Five Summary (James and Amanda Edition):

Today our three friends talk about how fast things die. Sometimes things die fast, and sometimes things die slowly. Most of the time things die slowly, but when things die fast, it is very bad. Bad things happen when everything dies fast. Right now, it looks like things are dying very fast, oh no. Things are dying so fast, it could be a hundred or even a ten hundred times faster than when things die slowly. This is bad because when things die they can't come back. Our friends talk about how bad it is when things die fast, and how people can maybe make things die slower.


Martin, Robert A., and Pablo Peláez‐Campomanes. "Extinction rates of the Meade Basin rodents: application to current biodiversity losses." Lethaia (2016).

Ceballos, Gerardo, et al. "Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction." Science advances 1.5 (2015): e1400253.

Direct download: Podcast_105_-_Well_Meet_Again.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT