Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ep 269: It’s the end of the world as they knew it



It’s the end of the world as they knew it

The Permian period began with lush forests. new bugs arrived to feed on the succulent plants, strange sharks still swam the seas, and the first large plant eaters and their predators walked the increasingly dry earth. At the end of the period was the most devastating mass extinction in our planets history.
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Ep 268: Strange sharks, giant insects, and a new and improved egg



Strange sharks, giant insects, and a new and improved egg

During the carboniferous, forests and swamp dominated the landscape. In the oceans, strange new sharks appeared. Giant insects walked amongst the trees while the first reptiles and early ancestors of what would become mammals hid inside rotted stumps.
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Ep 267: Forest, fins and feet



Forest, fins and feet

Giant Mushrooms, the first forests, 28 foot long armored fish hunting sharks who were hunting smaller fish. In shallow streams and ponds, some fish were changing, becoming better at breathing air. They developed fins that could support their weight out of the water, if only for a little while at a time. By the end of the Devonian period, the fish that would become us crawled out of the water and went for a walk.
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Ep 266: The Lab anniversary: three years and counting!



The Lab anniversary: three years and counting!

After three years of doing this show, we do more of this show. Join us as we celebrate our anniversary with a couple nifty interesting things that never quite made it into an episode, along with a few laughs, a status report on our time machine and shrink ray, and other bits and pieces.
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Ep 265: By tooth and scale



By tooth and scale

The Silurian period was warm, and compared to the periods around it, rather gentle. Plants on land became a bit more sophisticated, with roots and stems and the ability to move water an nutrients around their bodies. Giant sea scorpions, the largest arthropods of all time, cruised the waters, probably chowing down on our early vertebrate ancestors. The fish developed jaws and moved into fresh water, and apparently, Changed some scales into teeth.
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Ep 264: Life tries again



Life tries again

After the extinctions at the end of the Cambrian, the Ordovician once again came with a sudden increase in the amount and variety of life. This time, those who survived the end of the Cambrian would diversify, so life didn’t quite start over. This period saw the armored jawless fish, and just before it’s end, some fish with jaws, which is as far as vertebrates got so far. There were also giant relatives of octopus and squid, with shells that got anywhere from 20 to 40 feet long, and the very first land plants make their appearance.
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Ep 263: a bevy of beasts



a bevy of beasts

About 451,000,000 years ago, there was a sudden increase in the number of different types of animals in the fossil record. The animals that came before didn’t stand a chance. The new kids had hard shells, eyes, jaws and teeth. Join us for a chat about the Cambrian period.
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Ep 262: itty bitty chatty: cells, signals, and communication



itty bitty chatty: cells, signals, and communication

From Bacteria coordinating their attack, to brain cells trying to figure out how bacteria coordinate their attack, today we look at how cells signal and communicate with one another, for better or worse. No hippos were harmed in the making of this episode.
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Ep 261: Sex



Sex

Parental guidance is advised as we examine the strange, sometimes fatal, always messy world of sex. Queue the sax and have a look at fish joined in a special bond, single celled yeast, bugs with a mathematical sense of timing, and females that make a meal of their suiters.
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Ep 260: The urge to merge: hives, colonies and multicellular life



The urge to merge: hives, colonies and multicellular life

When does cooperation become identity? How and why did single celled life, which was doing just fine, end up forming plants and animals made up of trillions of cells? By taking a look at birds, army ants, coral reefs and giant jellyfish, we try to understand multicellular life.
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