We have them, you have them, and vertebrates throughout Earth history have had them. The history of vertebrate life, the study of vertebrate paleontology, and the myriad ways we have to discuss and describe living and fossil animals and their ecological roles are tied tightly to the Evolution of Teeth.
In the Late Jurassic they were small bipedal animals with horns on their cheeks; by the end of the Cretaceous, they had given rise to multi-ton animals with enormous ornamented skulls that roamed North America in massive herds. This episode, we discuss the evolution and lifestyles of Ceratopsians.
In the South Pacific Ocean, there is a family of islands that have been isolated since the Cretaceous Period. Now and in the distant past, it’s been home to some of the most unique and fascinating ecosystems on Earth. This episode, we explore the history and the evolution of New Zealand.
We’ve talked about mass extinction many times, and indeed we’ve covered four out of the famous “Big Five” that so shaped the history of life on Earth. This time, we’re completing the set, discussing the earliest of the five, exploring the setting, causes, and results of the Ordovician Mass Extinction.
Life ain’t easy. For animals, plants, and organisms of all kinds, there exists a constant threat of injury and disease. Fortunately, these unfortunate occurrences sometimes leave evidence in fossils that can inform us of the lives – and even deaths – of species from long ago. The study of this evidence is called Paleopathology.
In 1938, a fishing crew pulled up a fish that everyone thought had been extinct for 70 million years. Since then, these fish have become famous not just for their strangely incomplete fossil record, but also for their unique anatomy and their close relationship to land vertebrates. In this episode, we discuss the strange and incredible story of Coelacanths.
Throughout the Paleozoic Era, the oceans were home to an extraordinarily diverse and charismatic group of hard-bodied arthropods, successful enough in their time to have persisted for over 270 million years, and abundant enough in the fossil record to have become some of the most popular and recognizable fossils in the world. This episode, we talk Trilobites.