Tag: evolution

Episode 20: Digging the Dawn of Dinosaurs – Paleontology at Ghost Ranch

Hi all. Adam Pritchard here. I’ve been thinking about telling the story of my field experience in the Triassic-aged Chinle Formation of northern New Mexico for many years. The Hayden Quarry fossil site at Ghost Ranch has produced the best-preserved and most diverse record of American dinosaurs from the Triassic of North America, plus some of the strangest reptiles that ever lived. I’ve been proud …

Filed under: Diapsids, Ecology, Fieldwork, Triassic, evolution

Images of the fossil salamander in amber, Palaeoplethodon, alongside a modern plethodontid salamander. The close resemblance suggests that Palaeoplethodon is a lungless animal, whose closest relatives lived nearby in North America.

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 …

Filed under: Caribbean, Palaeoplethodon, amber, evolution, island, mines, salamander, science

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 …

Filed under: Biogeography, Climate Change, Eocsystem, Fossils, Lizards, Reptiles, Wyoming, evolution, herpetology

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 …

Filed under: Amazon, Cenozoic, Crocodiles, Ecology, Fossils, Miocene, New species, South America, Weird animals, evolution

Episode 7 Field Guide: Walking through Whale Evolution

Whales are spectacularly specialized mammals that seem perfectly adapted to their marine habitat. Plenty of other mammals have gone back to the water, but whales take it to a whole new level. No back legs, weird ear bones, nose on top of the head. What could the land-based ancestor of whales have possibly looked like? Is there a fossil record of walking whales? In this episode we discover whales b …

Filed under: Cenozoic, Field Guide, Locomotion, Mammals, anatomy, evolution, hippo, whale

Prepare for the Whale’s Tale!

It’s been a crazy month as Adam and Matt travel to museum collections around the world, apply for grants, and get the teaching semester rolling, but they are still working on the next episodes. We have crocodile jaws, bird brains, and T. rex roaring for attention, but first we will dive in to the story of whale origins! Stay tuned!

Filed under: Announcement, evolution, hippo, whale

Episode 5 Field Guide: Throwing in Human Evolution

Humans are weird animals. We walk around on two legs, we have big brains…and we like to throw things at each other. When did all this happen in a gradual march to Homo sapiens? In this episode of Past Time, Adam and Matt talk to Dr. Susan Larson, an expert on the anatomy of living and extinct apes. Dr. Larson’s work shows our close bipedal ancestors had very different shoulder blades than ours t …

Filed under: Homo erectus, baseball, evolution, human

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