Let’s take a trip back to the Cretaceous of North America, when the whole middle of the continent was flooded by an inland sea unlike anything in the world today. It split the continent in two and hosted a unique ecosystem now preserved across fossil sites from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It was the Western Interior Seaway. Continue reading
With all the diversity of life past and present, it’s incredible how often evolution repeats itself. Wings, flippers, eyes … all sorts of fascinating features have shown up multiple times in multiple groups of organisms. In this episode, we discuss this very common, curious, and sometimes confusing aspect of natural selection: Convergent Evolution.
Lots of animal groups have evolved bony armor, but one group of dinosaurs really took it to the extreme. The armored knobs, spikes, and weapons they wore all over their bodies have fascinated dino-fans for more than a century, and there are still so many questions unanswered. This episode, we look at Ankylosaurs. Continue reading
Vision is so important in the lives of animals around the globe that it’s difficult to imagine a world without it. But sight has a long and mysterious evolutionary history, from simple light-sensitive cells to the complex organic cameras we humans have in our faces. In this episode, we discuss some of the most incredible innovations and unanswered questions in the Evolution of Eyes.
Join us as we explore one of the most famous fossil sites in the world. It’s not in a desert or on a mountain, but in the heart of one of the largest cities in North America. It’s also one of the best places on Earth to understand the changes in climate and ecology at the very end of the Ice Age. This episode, we take a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the largest land mammals that have ever lived. We’ll explore the handful of modern species and their extraordinarily diverse evolutionary history. From mammoths to mastodons, shovel-tuskers to miniature island-dwellers, the fossil record is full of bizarre elephants. Continue reading
It’s Episode 65, and you know what that means … extinction! This time, we address what is traditionally considered one of the “Big 5,” but doesn’t seem to be “one” extinction at all. Geologists and paleontologists continue to work at piecing together the various causes and consequences that create an extended series – several millions years long – of very unfortunate events that altogether comprise the Late Devonian Extinction(s).