Episode 146: Palaeo Gaming Pt1
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by Palaeocast
1M ago
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Episode 145: Scleromochlus
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
1M ago
Scleromochlus is an animal that has been known for over 100 years, and has been frequently suggested as being an ancestor to pterosaurs. It hails from the Late Triassic of Scotland, and there are fewer than 10 specimens known. Unfortunately the preservation of this small reptile means that it is very difficult to interpret. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and CT scanning, new evidence from Scleromochlus reveals new anatomical insights, and further supports Scleromochlus as a lagerpetid, the group most closely related to pterosaurs. In this episode we discuss these new disco ..read more
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Episode 143: The Palaeontographical Society Pt2
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by Palaeocast
2M ago
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Episode 142: The Palaeontographical Society Pt1
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
3M ago
This year marks the 175th anniversary of The Palaeontographical Society. Having been established in 1847, PalSoc is the world’s oldest Society devoted specifically to the advancement of palaeontological knowledge in existence. The primary role of Pal Soc is to promote the description and illustration of British fossils, which it does through monographs. In the first part of this two-part episode, we speak to Dr Victor Monin a historian of science who specialises in the history of palaeontology, especially palaeoart. How did PalSoc influence how fossils were visually represented in scientific l ..read more
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Episode 141: Bolca Fish
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
4M ago
Bolca is a site of exceptional preservation of fossils (termed a konservat lagerstätte) located close to Verona, Italy. This 50 million year old limestone was deposited in the Eocene Epoch and contains over 500 species of plants, arthropods terrestrial vertebrates and most notably a lot of fish! The preservation at Bolca is so detailed that even the external colouration of the skin and internal anatomy of many of these fossils can be seen. Exploring the taphonomy (the processes that occur to a body between death and discovery) and palaeoecology (how fossil organisms lived and interacted with o ..read more
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Episode 140: Aquatic Spinosaurids
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
5M ago
In the last few years there has been lots of new work on the iconic Spinosaurus - was it aquatic? What about its relatives? What kind of evidence can we look at to tell us this answer? In this episode we speak with Dr. Matteo Fabbri, from the Field Museum of Chicago, who has been working on Spinosaurus and other relatives and has recently published a detailed study supporting the idea that some spinosaurids were likely a swimming, aquatic dinosaur at least part of the time. He walks us through the evidence for spinosaurids being semi-aquatic and tells us why they think they could swim ..read more
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Episode 139: Marrellomorphs
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
7M ago
Marrellomorphs are the group of early Paleozoic arthropods that get their name from the well-known Burgess Shale fossil Marrella splendens. They have for a long time been considered to be closely related to the trilobites, based on similarities in their gills, but numerous studies have since suggested they are closer related to mandibulate arthropods (crustaceans, insects & myriapods), although their strange appearance means other relationships might still be plausible. Since they have a soft exoskeleton, marellomorphs have a very poor fossil record and so the discovery of any new spe ..read more
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Episode 138: Hispaniolan Sloths
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
7M ago
Sloths (or do you pronounce it “sloths”?), are a group of tree-dwelling xenarthrans from South and Central America. They are well known for their sedentary lifestyles where they just hang around and seemingly do fairly little. But has this always been the case? When we look back at the fossil record of sloths, what kinds of ecologies do we see? How far back does their fossil record actually go? In this episode, we speak to Dr Robert McAfee (Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine) about his research looking into the fossil record of sloths in all of its “beautiful absurdity”. His work has ..read more
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Episode 137: Tanis
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
9M ago
The end-Cretaceous mass extinction was a cataclysmic asteroid impact that ushered in the end of the non-avian dinosaurs and forever changed the course of evolution on Earth. But what can we say about the timing of the event, other than it happened 66 million years ago? Well, it turns out that Tanis, a relatively-recently discovered fossil site in North Dakota, is full of lines of evidence that are allowing earth scientists to piece together when the impact occurred. In this episode, we’re joined by Melanie During, Uppsala University, who has been examining the details of the bones of fish to s ..read more
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Episode 136: Burmese Amber Pt2b
Palaeocast
by Palaeocast
10M ago
Continuing our mini series on Burmese Amber, we now turn our focus to the ethics of working on this fossil material. Can possessing or working on amber from Myanmar ever be considered ethical? In the first part of this episode, we examined the political context, work around Myanmar’s fossil exportation laws and follow the money back through the trade routes. Now, in the second part, we discuss why it’s currently unethical to study Burmese amber, what palaeontologists can do about that, and whether the situation might change in the future. Joining us to guide us through this process are Nussaïb ..read more
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