227 episodes

Join David and Will as they explore the paleontologists’ perspective on various topics in life and earth history.

Each episode features a main discussion on a topic requested by the listeners, presented as a lighthearted and educational conversation about fossils, evolution, deep time, and more.

Before the main discussion, each episode also includes a news segment, covering recent research related to paleontology and evolution.

Each episode ends with the answer to a question submitted by subscribers on Patreon.

New episodes with new topics every fortnight!

The Common Descent Podcast Common Descent

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 481 Ratings

Join David and Will as they explore the paleontologists’ perspective on various topics in life and earth history.

Each episode features a main discussion on a topic requested by the listeners, presented as a lighthearted and educational conversation about fossils, evolution, deep time, and more.

Before the main discussion, each episode also includes a news segment, covering recent research related to paleontology and evolution.

Each episode ends with the answer to a question submitted by subscribers on Patreon.

New episodes with new topics every fortnight!

    Episode 153 - Armadillos

    Episode 153 - Armadillos

    Built-in body armor is common among reptiles and rare among mammals, but armadillos are the major exception. Equipped with a full set of segmented armor over their heads, backs, and tails, armadillos have been waddling around well-protected for tens of millions of years, and their ancient relatives include some of the most famous and preposterous of extinct mammals. This episode, we discuss the unique features and fascinating history of armadillos, glyptodonts, and their other ancient cousins.
    In the news: roots and extinction, new croc-like reptiles, early cooking, and giant turtles.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:04:00Main discussion, Part 1: 00:31:30Main discussion, Part 2: 01:05:30Patron question: 01:39:30
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    The 2022 End of the Year Q&A Form is LIVE! Submit your question now!https://forms.gle/GTgew75GmVxAKejt6
    Follow this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible!www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hp
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Join the Common Descent Discord server! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    Follow and Support us on: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
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    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 48 min
    Episode 152 - The Jehol Biota

    Episode 152 - The Jehol Biota

    You might have noticed that over the last few decades, a lot of really exciting and famous fossil discoveries have been coming out of China. If you pay close attention, you might even catch that many of them are coming from the same place: the incredible fossil assemblages of the Jehol Biota. We’ve mentioned Jehol fossils many times on the podcast, but in this episode, we focus on the big picture: where do these fossils come from, why are they so incredibly well-preserved, and what are just some of the fascinating research questions we can answer by examining these amazing fossils?
    In the news: bird evolution, dinosaur growth patterns, mammal speciation rates, and glowing scallops.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:08:00Main discussion, Part 1: 00:48:30Main discussion, Part 2: 01:15:30Patron question: 01:51:30
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    The 2022 End of the Year Q&A Form is LIVE! Submit your question now!https://forms.gle/GTgew75GmVxAKejt6
    Follow this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible!www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hp
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Join the Common Descent Discord server! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    Follow and Support us on: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
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    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 hr
    Episode 151 - Tails

    Episode 151 - Tails

    Look at the various animals on Earth – or rather, look just behind them – and you’ll see a vast variety of tails! Tails and tail-like structures are often simple extensions of the body, and yet they’ve been adapted and modified into many shapes with many functions, and because they’re often so important to an animal’s lifestyle, they can be especially useful for paleontologists trying to understand ancient animals. In this episode, we’ll discuss definitions, diversity, functions, and fossils of tails.
    In the news: drought fossils, early fish jaws, early fish fins, and paleontology video games.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:04:00Main discussion, Part 1: 00:33:00Main discussion, Part 2: 01:18:30Patron question: 01:53:30
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Follow this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible! www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hp
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Join the Common Descent Discord server! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    Follow and Support us on: 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
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    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 hr
    Spook-E - Mimics

    Spook-E - Mimics

    Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.
    October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.
    This episode, we delve into a paranoia-inducing scourge of dungeons. What hypothetical natural scenario might cultivate a shape-shifting ambush hunter that disguises itself as inanimate objects? Our creatures to create this time: Mimics.
    Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    And share your Spook-E musings on social media with the hashtag #SpookE
    Check out our blog for podcast info, fan art, and more!http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hpFind merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descentSubscribe for a free 30-day trial at Audible! www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    Follow and Support us on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

    • 56 min
    Spook-E - Beholders

    Spook-E - Beholders

    Welcome ... to Spookulative Evolution.
    October is here, and that means it’s time for Spook-E! Each episode throughout this month, we’re choosing a monster and discussing how it – or something like it – might evolve under the rules of evolution and natural selection, pulling inspiration from organisms of the real world. This year’s theme: monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.
    This episode, we gaze upon something truly alien. Can we formulate an evolutionary path to produce a malicious floating orb creature that stares at the world through many eyes? Our creatures to create this time: Beholders.
    Join the Common Descent Discord server for more Spook-E discussion! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    And share your Spook-E musings on social media with the hashtag #SpookE
    Check out our blog for podcast info, fan art, and more!http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hpFind merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descentSubscribe for a free 30-day trial at Audible! www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    Follow and Support us on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/CommonDescentPCFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/commondescentpodcastInstagram: @commondescentpodcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCePRXHEnZmTGum2r1l2mduwPodBean: https://commondescentpodcast.podbean.com/
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

    • 55 min
    Episode 150 - Stegosaurs

    Episode 150 - Stegosaurs

    Stegosaurus is one of the all-time most famous and recognizable dinosaurs, but it wasn’t alone! Its whole extended family, the stegosaurs, were medium- to large-sized herbivorous dinosaurs sporting an array of plates and spikes. This episode, we discuss the diversity and deep history of stegosaurs, what we know of their lifestyles, and of course the big questions: just what were they doing with that ridiculous armor?
    In the news: Moon impacts, bird brains, Jurassic vomit, and super-old algae.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:05:30Main discussion, Part 1: 00:31:00Main discussion, Part 2: 00:58:30Patron question: 01:48:00
    Check out our blog for bonus info and pictures:http://commondescentpodcast.wordpress.com/
    Follow this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible! www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent Check out Riley Black’s newest book: The Last Days of the Dinosaurs
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content! https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast 
    Or make a one-time donation via PayPal: https://tinyurl.com/4c68u4hp
    Find merch at the Common Descent Store! http://zazzle.com/common_descent
    Join the Common Descent Discord server! https://discord.gg/CwPBxdh9Ev
    Follow and Support us on: 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
    You can email us at commondescentpodcast(at)gmail.comOr send us physical mail at:The Common Descent Podcast1735 W State of Franklin Rd. Ste 5 #165Johnson City, TN 37604
    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 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
481 Ratings

481 Ratings

Brightstargirl ,

My favorite podcast

I started a bunch of paleo podcasts at the same time. I listen to them all but this is the one that I go though the archives on. I love how excited they get talking about things. I love the deep dives into single topics. I love the accessible information.

la hermanas ,

Great info Terrible presentation!

The info is great! The presentation is a punch of chatter, talk over and mixed cadence!!

Jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjk ,

New favorite podcast

Fell in love and became a Patreon within the first week of finding this podcast.

Edit-more than a year later, still my favorite. (No podcast has ever topped my personal charts for more than a year)

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