Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers about trilobite evolution and morphology. The first paper looks at disparity and taxonomic trends of trilobites across the Devonian, and the second paper looks at the unique tridents of Walliserops. Meanwhile, Amanda makes a choice, James does some unique functional morphology, and Curt critiques tilapia.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about two papers that look at small hard animals that live in the water and some of them can roll into a ball. The first paper looks at how these animals looked over time. They look at whether or not these animals looked more different when there were more different types of these animals around. This is not usually the case, for lot of animals how different the animals in the group look to each other is not just because to there being more types of animals. For this group that some can roll into a ball, it seems like they look a lot more different when there are also a lot of different types of them. So when something kills a lot of them, they also lose what makes them different. After a really bad time for these animals, only one group was left and we saw that they kind of looked the same for a long time until they all died.

The second paper looks at one of these types of animals that had a weird thing on its nose. They try and find out what it could have used this weird thing for because it is very big and it does not move on its own so it probably would not be good for a lot of things. They look at some other animals that have things on their nose they use to fight each other for space and girls. While these animals are very different, they show some ways that this thing on the nose look like these other animals. So maybe they used this thing on their nose to fight each other.



Gishlick, Alan D., and Richard A. Fortey. "Trilobite tridents demonstrate sexual combat at 400 Mya." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120.4 (2023): e2119970120.

Bault, Valentin, Catherine Crônier,  and Claude Monnet. "Coupling of taxonomic diversity and morphological  disparity in Devonian trilobites?." Historical Biology (2023): 1-12.

Direct download: Podcast_254_-_Forking_Trilobites.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang discusses two papers that look at how species respond to climate change. The first paper uses models to study how bird migration patterns may have changed over the last 800,000 years, and the second paper looks at how blooming times for plants in the UK have changed over the last 300 years. Meanwhile, James and Amanda prepare for a trip (2 months ago), and Curt is left a little confused.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

Our friends talk about two papers that look at how living things can change when it gets hotter or colder across the world. The first paper looks at animals that can fly and some of them move around when it gets hot or cold during a year. This paper uses computers to look at how these animals may have changed how they move around during times that were colder and warmer than today. This is part of a bigger story where some people think that these animals moving around during the year is something that might be pretty new, since the last time we warmed up. The computers say that these types of animals were probably still moving around during these colder times, and that there are some cool things about how where theses animals are might have changed how they moved over time, since some places got colder than others.

The second paper looks at green things that make their own food. These green things start to grow and make the things they need to make babies during the warm parts of the year. Some of them use light, but a lot of them use how warm it is to know if it is time to start growing again. For this one part of the world, they have been looking at these green things for almost 300 years. When we look at when these green things start growing, we are seeing them start growing earlier in the year than they did in the past. This is not happening every place in the same way and not to every type of green thing. But all of these changes all show the same idea; that the world is getting warmer and these green things are starting to grow earlier in the year because of it, and places that are getting warmer faster and seeing those green things grow even earlier.



Büntgen, Ulf, et al. "Plants in the UK flower a month earlier under recent warming." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289.1968 (2022): 20212456.

Somveille, Marius, et al. "Simulation-based reconstruction of global bird migration over the past 50,000 years." Nature communications 11.1 (2020): 801.

Direct download: Podcast_253_-_Moving_Out.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT