The evolution of horses is not only one of the classic evolutionary stories of the ancient past, it’s also an incredible story of scientific discovery and adjustment. From the dawn of the Age of Mammals to the domestication of modern work animals, we’re taking a trip through Horse Evolution.
The history of life on Earth is marked by tragedy. Life as we know it only exists because more ancient life lost the fight for survival. In this episode, we discuss the most mysterious – and possibly the most tragic – extinction event in Earth history, the most important transformation our planet has experienced since its formation: the Great Oxidation Event.
Today, it’s famous for the incredible diversity of the Andes Mountains and the Amazon rainforest, and its fossil record is full of unique ecosystems unlike any we see today, thanks to tens of millions of years of evolution in isolation; in this episode, we tackle South America.
As our friend Aly is fond of saying, plants aren’t just a colorful background to Earth history, they’re dynamic and influential drivers of environmental change. In this episode, she joins us to discuss one of the most famous and important innovations in all of plant evolution: Trees.
We’re no strangers to fascinating marine creatures on this podcast; we’ve tackled placoderms, whales, sharks, and mosasaurs. But weirder perhaps than all of those were a group of Mesozoic reptiles with large flippers, tiny tails, and heads that ranged from giant death traps to tiny noggins atop long necks. This episode, we dive into the Plesiosaurs.
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.