Episode 15: Degrees of Doctoral Dissertation Domination
On this episode of Past Time, Drs. Matthew Borths and Adam Pritchard share their dissertation stories, and a bit of advice on the grad school experience!
News Bite: Kerberos! Giant mammal carnivore from after the Age of Dinosaurs!
It weighed twice as much as a modern wolf. It had three pairs of meat-slicing teeth. It was the first carnivorous land animal to reach 200 pounds on the entire continent of Europe after the extinction of the dinosaurs. And a team of European scientists and Past Time co-host Matthew Borths just introduced us to it. Ladies and gentlemen: meet Kerberos, monster mammal carnivore!
Filed under: Carnivora, Carnivores, Carnivory, Cenozoic, Creodonta, Creodonts, Creotonta, Europe, Fossils, France, Giant, Hyaenodontida, Hyaenodontidae, Mammals, Meat-eater, Palaeontology, Paleontology
News Bite: Salamanders of the Caribbean!
Arrr, ye mateys! Pour out some grog, and I’ll tell ye a tale of mines, beaches, and death in ancient jungles. I of course be talkin’…about salamanders! Okay, not going to do that voice the whole time (though maybe it should be in the episode), but I will briefly present Palaeoplethodon hispaniolae, the first salamander in amber and the first ever found in the Caribbean! This discovery was spearh …
News Bite: Basilisks in the Old(er) West!
The oldest basilisk lizard from North America, described by Jack Conrad from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine, shows the 48 million year old animal was part of an ancient lush jungle ecosystem…in the middle of Wyoming. The beautifully preserved skull has important stories to tell about the evolution of the lizards most famous for their ability to scamper across the water, but it also reveals …
News Bite: Genes and Jurassic Park
As Jurassic World rolls out, Matt has some thoughts on the scientific impact of Jurassic Park and offers his hopes for the scientific discussions Jurassic World might spark.
News Bite: Cosmic rays date ancient human ancestor
Dating fossils might sound like Saturday night for a paleontologist, but it’s serious science! In a new study, a group of physicists and paleontologists teamed up to re-date one of the most complete skeletons of a human relative ever discovered. The skeleton was discovered in a cave in South Africa twenty years ago, but the geology of the cave made it tough to figure out how long ago the animal, n …
Filed under: Africa, Australopithecus, Cenozoic, Fossils, Geology, Hominids, Hominins, Human ancestors, Human evolution, New methods, Paleoanthropology, Paleontology, Paranthropus, Pliocene, Purdue University, South Africa
News Bite: Brontosaurus revived!
Brontosaurus was an extinct name for an extinct animal, but a new study brings the “Thunder Lizard” title roaring back to life! But how does a name get dropped, and how does it get brought back again? Follow us into the winding world of paleontology taxonomy, the study of names. In the 1870s two giant hip bones were found and named by one of the great paleontologists of the age: Othniel Marsh. He …
News Bite: Crazy croc diversity in the ancient Amazon!
In a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi and other paleontontologists described the crocodiles from a gigantic wetland that predated the Amazon. Ten million years ago there was the giant Purussarus, the duck-billed Mourasuchus, the tube-snouted gharial-like croc, a coyote-like croc similar to Paleosuchus, and three new crocs with broad teeth perfect fo …
Quick Bite: Clash of the Triassic Titans!
Under the canopy of an ancient fern forest near the border of Arizona and New Mexico a colossal crocodile-like reptile took a bite out of an even larger, toothy giant. The attack failed and the victim limped on to fight another day, until its carcass was finally pillaged by another scaly monster and smaller, pickier scavengers. Studying bones collected over a century ago, scientists are now able t …
News Bite: Parental care in extinct reptiles
A new fossil shows an ancient reptile, Philydrosaurus, surrounded by young. Possible evidence that parental investment is a more ancient trait in land-based vertebrates than paleontologists thought! Reptiles aren’t known for being great parents. When it comes to time and energy spent with the kids, mammals get all the glory. Birds also spend a lot of time with the chicks after they hatch, but this …