Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two sets of papers about how we study crocodylomorphs, with each of these topics being replies to previous studies. The first paper looks at the importance of total evidence approaches in determining the evolutionary placement of fossil pseudosuchians, and the second set of papers discusses the potential biases and issues associated with how we handle body size data in evolutionary studies. Meanwhile, Curt goes Camus, Amanda has some bizarre funeral plans, and James continues to have opinions about pies.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

Our friends look at a lot of papers that were written to reply to another paper. All of these papers look at how we study big angry animals that spend a lot of time in water and jump out to eat things. This group of animals has been around for a long time and before today they used to do a lot of different things, even though now most of them spend a lot of time in water and jump out to eat things. These papers look at the older groups of these animals. The first paper looks at how we try and understand how these older groups go together. It shows that if you only look at how these things look, there are a lot of different ways these groups could go together. They say that things get better if we use both how they look and the changes in the small stuff that helps build up all life. This is important, because how these old groups go together will change how and when we think the groups of big angry animals we see today first came to be.

The second group of papers looks at how big these angry animals were in the past. One of these papers looked at how big these animals got over time, but the reply shows that there are some problems with how that was done. If you just take how big these animals are without doing anything to those numbers, it means that something that is big getting slightly bigger is going to seem like more than something small getting bigger about the same. It is because the bigger thing starts with bigger numbers. You can fix this by doing some things to the numbers to make sure that you can better look at changes in both small and big animals. When you do that, it does change the story of the paper.



Darlim, Gustavo, et al. "The impact of  molecular data on the phylogenetic position of the putative oldest  crown crocodilian and the age of the clade." Biology Letters 18.2 (2022): 20210603.

Stockdale, Maximilian T., and Michael J. Benton. "Environmental drivers of body size evolution in crocodile-line archosaurs." Communications biology 4.1 (2021): 1-11.

Benson, Roger BJ, et al.  "Reconstructed evolutionary patterns for crocodile-line archosaurs  demonstrate impact of failure to log-transform body size data." Communications Biology 5.1 (2022): 1-4.

Stockdale, Maximilian T., and Michael  J. Benton. "Reply to:‘Reconstructed evolutionary patterns from  crocodile-line archosaurs demonstrate the impact of failure to  log-transform body size data’." Communications biology 5.1 (2022): 1-4.

Direct download: Podcast_233_-_Croc_Reply_Guys.mp3
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