A free webseries exploring the fossil record and the evolution of life on Earth.
The Palaeontographical Society Pt2
The Palaeontographical Society Pt1
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 literature?
Episode 141: Bolca Fish
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 other organisms and their surroundings) of some of the fish from Bolca is Dr Valentina Rossi from University College Cork, Ireland. In this episode, we look at how colour patterns are preserved in a fossil moonfish and look at what that can tell us about how the species lived.
Episode 140: Aquatic Spinosaurids
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.
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 specimens outside of the Burgess Shale can be incredibly significant. In this interview, we speak to Joe Moysiuk of the University of Toronto and Royal Ontario Museum about his newly described species Tomlinsonus dimitrii.
i love this podcast
This is the perfect podcast to fall asleep to/relax to. The conversations are very interesting and make you feel smarter -- it doesn't condescend you but explains the concepts and research in accessible ways. The interviewers are intelligent and fun, and I enjoy the personal questions they ask the interviewees as well. I enjoy the subject matter a lot, and I like the vibe of this podcast. I haven't been able to find a similar one like it. I wish it updated more frequently, but each episode is worth the wait.
If you’re into paleontology, you’ll love it!
I absolutely love this podcast. I am a high school science teacher and this podcast makes me want to go back to graduate school! Dave you are so enthusiastic and inspiring! I listen to this and learn so much. Thank you!