Palaeo After Dark

A group of fresh faced scientists have biweekly informal discussions about evolutionary biology and palaeontology... over beer.



      Podcast 121 - Reconstructing the Niche

      The gang discusses two papers that use fossil evidence to determine the past ecology and niche-space of past organisms, specifically dodos and hyenas. How can we use information from bones to interpret diet, life cycle, and behaviors of long dead animals? Also, James decides to start Skynet on the grounds that they will let him become a weather controlling tiger-bot, while Amanda and Curt draw hard lines in the sand about Don Bluth cartoons. 




      Podcast 120 - Something Something Convergence

      The gang discusses two papers that deal with different examples of convergence. The first discusses how brood parasite female cuckoos mimic birds of prey, and the second paper discusses convergent morphological evolution in early tetrapodomorph fishes. What do these two papers have in common. you may ask? Both discussions have Amanda cheerfully yelling the word "Convergence!"

      Meanwhile, Amanda narrowly avoids drunk Amazon...



      Podcast 119 - Dimorphic Dinosaurs

      The gang discusses two papers that look at the complex issues surrounding the identification of sexual dimorphism in archosaurs (e.g. birds, dinosaurs, and alligators/crocodiles). Meanwhile, James has very strong opinions about Fat Tire beer, Amanda becomes lost in independent research, and Curt accidentally tears the podcast apart.


      Up-Goer Five (James Edition):

      The group looks at two papers that want to see whether animals that ...



      Podcast 118 - Dealing with Problematica

      The gang discuss two papers that attempt to resolve the taxonomic placement of animals with complex or confusing morphologies. Also, they somehow go off on a tangent about careers in academia, publish or perish, and the various lengths people can go to try and maximize their research output. Meanwhile, Amanda has some issues with her light sockets, James tries to pass off "facts"about rats, Curt makes references to 90's cartoons, and everyone greets o...



      Podcast 117 - Hero Terrapins and Fighting Frogs

      The gang discuss two papers that study how the geographic ranges of turtles and frogs changed through time, and how these changes affected their ecology and evolution. Also, James drinks what he presumes is ground horse, Curt goes full Ian Malcolm, Amanda shares life lessons about furniture, and everyone imagines what turtle they are. [Editor's note: The actual science starts about 13 minutes in, I just didn't have the heart to cut it down.]



      Podcast 116 - Changing Relationships; Dinosaurs and Marsupials

      The gang discuss two papers that offer new evidence which re-contextualizes our understanding of the evolutionary history of two important Mesozoic groups, dinosaurs and marsupials. Meanwhile, Amanda comes up with a terrible/great new idea for liquor consumption, Curt consistently offers bad advice to his friends, and James cracks open a bottle of sangria and then everything gets a bit fuzzy. Can you guess that this was the fourth podcast recorded in ...



      Podcast 115 - Amanda Now Wants Tiny Whales to be a Thing

      The gang discuss two papers that discuss the methods we use to determine how different things are from each (i.e. disparity). In particular, do variations in parts of an animal give us a good sample of the morphological variability of the total animal? Meanwhile, Amanda wants a whale, James has strong opinions about vertebrae, and Curt tries to narrow in on what Amanda views as "cute".


      Up-Goer Five (James Edition):

      The group ...



      Podcast 114 - Trilobites; Mice of the Paleozoic

      The gang discuss two papers that describe the life strategies of trilobites, a diverse and charismatic group of extinct arthropods. Specifically, they look at two papers that look at enrollment and movement of trilobites. Meanwhile, Amanda educates James on the nature of pain, James envisions Curt's inevitable end, and Curt invents a hockey/extinct arthropod family film.


      Up-Goer Five (James Edition):

      The group looks at two p...



      Podcast 113 - What's In a Bauplan

      The gang discuss the concept of the body plan, or "bauplan", and what it means for our understanding of evolution. When in the evolutionary history of a group do the morphological characteristics we associate with that group become fixed? Meanwhile, Amanda details the exploits of mischievous crows, Curt explains our free-to-play academic futures, and James educates America on British society. Also, we start talking about science about 9 minutes in.... ...



      Podcast 112 - How Specialized Are Specialists?

      The gang discuss two papers that use biogeochemical evidence to determine the diets of two specialist species. Just how restricted are the diets of these species? Meanwhile, Amanda finds a new pet she desperately needs, James copes with a changing environment, and Curt  gives James some advice on social situations.

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      Up-Goer Five (A...