290 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 • 609 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 196 - Boas and Pythons

    Episode 196 - Boas and Pythons

    Boas and pythons include some of the most famous snake species on Earth, renowned for their incredible tropical diversity, their often beautiful scale patterns, and their often impressive size. This episode, we discuss what sets these two lineages apart from other snakes – and each other – and we explore the evolutionary path recorded in their fossil record.
    In the news: giant early tetrapods, digging dinosaurs, coastal croc-cousins, and striking snakes.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:08:15Main discussion, Part 1: 00:37:40Main discussion, Part 2: 01:30:10Patron question: 02:16:10
    Check out our website for this episode’s blog post and more: http://commondescentpodcast.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    Lots more ways to connect with us: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    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 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    • 2 hr 29 min
    Episode 195 - Leaves

    Episode 195 - Leaves

    Leaves. They’re everywhere. They’re the main photosynthesizing organs of plants, and they’re the main source of green on our green-and-blue planet. Leaves come in a truly dizzying variety of shapes, sizes, and specialized functions, and their early evolution laid the foundation for terrestrial ecosystems as we know them. This episode, Aly joins us yet again to talk about the anatomy and diversity of leaves and the incredible information we can learn from leaves in the fossil record.
    In the news: croc cousins, horned dinosaurs, dinosaur myths, and fish brains.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:07:40Main discussion, Part 1: 00:42:30Main discussion, Part 2: 01:36:00Patron question: 02:54:30
    Follow Aly online at @PaleoLorax
    Check out our website for this episode’s blog post and more: http://commondescentpodcast.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    Lots more ways to connect with us: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    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 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    • 3 hr 4 min
    Spotlight 2024 - Travis Holland, Fossils and Fiction

    Spotlight 2024 - Travis Holland, Fossils and Fiction

    Welcome to Spotlight 2024! In this series, we’re sitting down with our fellow paleo-podcasters to discuss Science Communication.
    Joining us for this episode is Travis Holland, host of Fossils and Fiction!
    Find Travis and Fossils and Fiction in these places:fossilsfiction.co travisholland.com.au https://researchoutput.csu.edu.au/en/persons/tholla05csueduau
    Connect with Common Descent: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    We’re an Audible Affiliate Partner! Use this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible: https://www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Episode 194 - Alligators and Caimans

    Episode 194 - Alligators and Caimans

    Happy Croc Month!
    Alligators and caimans are the living members of the family Alligatoridae. In this episode, we explore how the gator lineage differs from other crocs, and we’ll dive into the fossil record of the extended gator family tree, a history that includes a diversity of species and some of the largest crocodilians to ever live.
    In the news: Australian pterosaurs, mega-geese, Neanderthal art, and social ants.
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:06:45Main discussion, Part 1: 00:37:55Main discussion, Part 2: 01:12:45Patron question: 02:19:50
    Check out our website for this episode’s blog post and more: http://commondescentpodcast.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    Lots more ways to connect with us: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    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 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    • 2 hr 28 min
    Episode 193 - Hopping

    Episode 193 - Hopping

    Terrestrial animals get around using a variety of gaits: walking, running, galloping, etc. Some of these gaits are particularly bouncy! Hopping comes in many forms in many different groups of animals. This episode, we’ll discuss what makes a particular gait “hoppy,” what functions hopping serves, and what adaptations are found in the best hoppers. Then, we’ll explore what we can tell about hopping in the fossil record.
    In the news: dinosaur skin, marine worms, ancient monotremes, and plant-ant relations
    Time markers:Intro & Announcements: 00:00:00News: 00:06:45Main discussion, Part 1: 00:36:30Main discussion, Part 2: 01:19:00Patron question: 01:50:10
    Check out our website for this episode’s blog post and more: http://commondescentpodcast.com/
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    Lots more ways to connect with us: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    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 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    • 2 hr 2 min
    Spotlight 2024 - Sabrina and Garret, I Know Dino

    Spotlight 2024 - Sabrina and Garret, I Know Dino

    Welcome to Spotlight 2024! In this series, we’re sitting down with our fellow paleo-podcasters to discuss Science Communication.
    Returning to the podcast for this episode are Sabrina and Garret, hosts of I Know Dino!
    Find I Know Dino at these places:https://iknowdino.comhttps://www.patreon.com/join/iknowdinohttps://pod.link/960976813
    Connect with Common Descent: https://linktr.ee/common_descent
    Join us on Patreon to support the podcast and enjoy bonus content: https://www.patreon.com/commondescentpodcast
    Got a topic you want to hear about? Submit your episode request here: https://commondescentpodcast.com/request-a-topic/
    We’re an Audible Affiliate Partner! Use this link for a 30-day free trial to Audible: https://www.audibletrial.com/CommonDescent
    The Intro and Outro music is “On the Origin of Species” by Protodome. More music like this at http://ocremix.org.

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
609 Ratings

609 Ratings

Michael Rosen789 ,

thank you!

absolutely adore this podcast! love your guys' enthusiasm

cicadafan ,

great science podcast

thank you for the great episode on extinction and cicadas! wish had found this podcast before its really good

Franklin box ,

Can’t over-recommend.

An absolute joy.

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