Category Archives: Natural history

Ep 193: The Pleistocene Ice and rat poo



The Pleistocene Ice and rat poo

For our final episode on the topic of natural history, we take a look at the Pleistocene. This epoch was the most recent ice age, and toward the end of this time, lots of the largest land mammals went extinct, while in the middle of the epoch, humans finally arrived on the scene.
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Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood



The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood

I managed to talk Phil into co-hosting again, even though he’s far away. Thanks to the internet, we talked about the Pliocene. At the beginning of this time, a nearly dry Mediterranean basin was flooded by the sea, causing a global drop in sea levels. Later, north and south America were connected, allowing plants and animals to travel to new places. This included the largest cat and largest bear ever to roam the Earth.
Continue reading Ep 192: The Pliocene: big bears, big cats, and a really big flood


Ep 189: The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job



The Miocene, the right teeth for the right job

Today we chat about the Miocene. During this epoch, kelp forest spread along the shoreline, creating habitat for otters and pinnipeds. The climate cooled and forest gave way to open grassland. Those grazing animals without the right kind of teeth died out, and the early apes diversified. Toward the end of the epoch, the branch of apes that would give rise to humans appeared.
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ep 188: The Oligocene, getting cold and growing huge



The Oligocene, getting cold and growing huge

Today we talk about the Oligocene epoch, when the climate cooled and forest gave way to areas of open land. Grass spread beyond the lake shores and river sides where it had been living, and began to spread across the landscape. Many animal types changed their bodies to become better runners, and we got the largest mammal ever to walk the earth.
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Ep 187: The Eocene, giant birds and proto-herds



The Eocene, giant birds and proto-herds

We cover the Eocene epoch, including early horses that lived in forests, but didn’t climb trees. We also had early forms of bores, rhinos, whales and primates.
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Ep 186: Why would Paleocene males lay eggs?



Why would Paleocene males lay eggs?

Today, Phil and I get back to talking about the history of life and evolution, with the Paleocene epoch. During this time the birds spread out and diversify, along with the mammals. We talk about the early versions of the hooved animals and elephants, and a few other creatures. And I misspell champsosaurus. Hurray!
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Ep 182: Cuddling Cretaceous dinosaurs



Cuddling Cretaceous dinosaurs

Today we chat about the Cretaceous period, when some of the most well-known dinosaurs appear. In this period, birds became much more like modern birds. Flowering plants spread across the land, along with new insects like ants and bees. The mammals began to diversify. Then, a rock hit the earth, and it all came to an end.
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Ep 181: What did Jurassic dinosaurs taste like?



What did Jurassic dinosaurs taste like?

Today we cover the Jurassic period, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, growing large and being in charge. One group began, during this period, to evolve toward becoming birds, and we talk a little bit about some early mammals.
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Ep 180: “Ridge” not “Trench.” Correcting and expanding episode 179



“Ridge” not “Trench.” Correcting and expanding episode 179

We blame the sickness. Both of your hosts managed to catch, and were suffering from, a rather nasty little chest cold. In episode 179, on the Triassic period, we mispronounced, misspoke and mistook. Since we were recording on a holiday and didn’t want to do that much research for this week anyway, we corrected our mistakes from the last episode. While we were at it, we got to expand on a couple of things, and add a couple more.
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Ep 179: The Triassic period



The Triassic period

Today, despite your hosts suffering from a nasty cold, we talk about the Triassic period. During this time, the first flying reptiles appear, along with several reptiles that returned to the water. We also get the very first dinosaurs, though they were still rather small, and the very first mammals, which were even smaller rodent-sized animals.
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