Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers that look at the gut contents and traces of ancient animals. The first paper reconstructs gut traces (or lack thereof) for Ediacarans and then the second paper looks at the detailed gut contents and 3d track of a lichid trilobite. Meanwhile, Amanda’s cat is changing careers, James is feeling “motivated”, and Curt has some house improvement recommendations.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about the insides of different animals from a long long time ago. The first paper looks at animals from a long long time ago that do not look much like things we see today. There is a lot of talk about how these animal would eat and where the food would go when they did eat. This paper looks at the parts that remain and looks over the things that are left behind to see if they can find out what the insides of these things were like. What they find is that the things we think are more like things we see today all have insides where the food goes. The one really strange thing does not and could have had food move into it along its outside.

The second paper looks at a small animal with many parts that makes a hard home. This paper finds the food that it ate in its insides and can use it to see what the insides look like. This is a great way for us to see the insides where the food goes in a group that is not around anymore. Also, the food in the insides lets us know how this animal ate things and the way it ate is strange when we look at things today. This thing ate hard things but it did it in a way that is not like what we see today. Also, this animal may have been getting ready to grow but did not make it.



Kraft, Petr, et al. "Uniquely preserved gut contents illuminate trilobite palaeophysiology." Nature (2023): 1-7.

Bobrovskiy, Ilya, et al. "Guts, gut contents, and feeding strategies of Ediacaran animals." Current Biology 32.24 (2022): 5382-5389.

Direct download: Podcast_271_-_Feel_It_In_My_Guts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT


The gang discusses two papers that look at the provide clues to the modern biogeographic distribution of species, specifically bees and new world monkeys. Meanwhile, Amanda shares something, James finds out about where’s the beef in more ways than one, and Curt invents a band.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

The friends talk about two papers that look at where animals live and how those animals got to those places. The first paper looks at group of small animals that fly and go to things that grow their own food and picks up parts of them when looking for food that helps these things that grow their own food make more of themselves. A long time ago, people had an idea that all of these small animals that fly came from one place and them moved to other places. No one had done a big paper using computers to see if this was true. This paper uses computers and finds that it does seem to be true.

The second paper looks at small animals that move in trees and can not fly but are closer to people than lots of other animals. This group came from across a big blue wet thing. However, lots of people wonder how they got across the big blue wet thing. This paper looks at new parts of these animals and sees that maybe these animals got across the big blue wet thing a lot of times. This might mean that at some times in the past it was easier for some of these small animals to make it across that big blue wet thing.



Almeida, Eduardo AB, et al. "The evolutionary history of bees in time and space." Current biology 33.16 (2023): 3409-3422.

Marivaux, Laurent, et al. "An eosimiid  primate of South Asian affinities in the Paleogene of Western Amazonia  and the origin of New World monkeys." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 120.28 (2023): e2301338120.

Direct download: Podcast_270_-_Rafting_Away.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT