167 episodes

Two paleontologists-turned-science-communicators chatting about the diversity of life: past and present!

The Common Descent Podcast Common Descent

    • Natural Sciences
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Two paleontologists-turned-science-communicators chatting about the diversity of life: past and present!

    Episode 111 - Eusociality

    Episode 111 - Eusociality

    There isn’t much on Earth quite like an ant colony or a beehive. Lots of animals are social, but relatively few are eusocial. It’s a bizarre lifestyle, living in large multi-generational colonies with lots of members who don’t reproduce but instead dedicate their lives to protecting and nourishing the offspring of the few reproducers. In this episode, we discuss the many questions surrounding this phenomenon, including how many times this trait has evolved, why it’s apparently so beneficial, and exactly how natural selection could even produce such a strange lifestyle.  
    In the news: venom evolution, pointy things, early rainforests, and bone origins.
    Time markers: Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:05:00Main discussion, Part 1: 00:39:00Main discussion, Part 2: 01:15:00Patron question: 02:02:00
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.
    Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 2 hrs 10 min
    Silver Screen Science – Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

    Silver Screen Science – Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

    We’ve talked a lot about Godzilla and King Kong in previous Silver Screen Science episodes, and now there’s a new movie with both of them in it, so we’re going to talk about that! More monster fights, more science, more fun.
    This episode, the all-star monsters are back: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)We also briefly discuss the last time these monsters met: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

    • 1 hr
    Episode 110 - Mazon Creek Fossil Beds

    Episode 110 - Mazon Creek Fossil Beds

    Go searching in the right spots in Illinois and you’re liable to find a hard chunk of ironstone with a gorgeous fossil inside. The Mazon Creek Fossil Beds represent some of the best Carboniferous fossils in the world, yielding exceptionally preserved plants and animals from a tropical river delta over 300 million years old. This episode, we discuss the history, the geology, and some of the most famously bizarre creatures of Mazon Creek.
    In the news: a “winged” shark, digging ankylosaurs, the oldest cephalopods, and a fly full of pollen.
    Time markers: Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:04:30Main discussion, Part 1: 00:33:30Main discussion, Part 2: 00:56:00Patron question: 01:22:00
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.
    Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Episode 109 - Hyenas

    Episode 109 - Hyenas

    Despite their unfortunate reputation, hyenas are really impressive. Modern and fossil, they’re a diverse group with a variety of dietary and social habits, and they are the quintessential example of bone-crushing specialists. In this episode, we discuss what makes hyenas unique and interesting, and we take a look at their surprisingly varied fossil history.
    In the news: lamprey larvae, octopus diets, nesting dinosaurs, and tyrannosaur bites.
    Time markers: Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:03:30Main discussion, Part 1: 00:34:30Main discussion, Part 2: 01:11:30Patron question: 01:49:00
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.
    Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 1 hr 58 min
    Episode 108 - Penguins

    Episode 108 - Penguins

    Penguins aren’t the only flightless birds, and they aren’t the only diving birds, but they sure are good at doing both! In this episode, we discuss modern penguins’ unique suite of adaptations that allow them to spend so much of their lives in the water, and then we address some of the most pressing questions about their past: How did they get their start? What drove their evolution? And why were some of them so disconcertingly large?
    In the news: giant coelacanths, really old DNA, fossil vampire squid, and dinosaur ecology.
    Time markers: Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:04:30Main discussion, Part 1: 00:42:00Main discussion, Part 2: 01:13:30Patron question: 01:49:00
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.
    Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 1 hr 59 min
    Episode 107 – Tusks

    Episode 107 – Tusks

    Taking teeth to the extreme! Tusks have evolved numerous times, particularly in mammals, and they’ve come in a striking array of shapes and sizes for a variety of uses. From the monstrously huge ivory tusks of mammoths to the modest yet effective tusks of fanged deer to the bizarre and perplexing tusks of babirusas and narwhals, in this episode we discuss trends, drivers, and mysteries in the evolution of tusks.
    In the news: razor-toothed mosasaurs, walk the dinosaur, sidewinder skin, and really old giant sloths.
    Time markers: Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:03:30Main discussion, Part 1: 00:38:00Main discussion, Part 2: 01:15:30Patron question: 01:54:30
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Follow and Support us on: Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast PodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwiTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-common-descent-podcast/id1207586509?mt=2
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.
    Musical Interludes are "Professor Umlaut" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    • 2 hrs 4 min

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