Browsing the "Cenozoic" Category

The Cenozoic era, meaning “new life”, is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 66 million years ago to the present. It is subdivided into the Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary periods. The beginning of the Cenozoic is characterised by a phase of recovery following the end Cretaceous mass extinction, and during which mammals and birds began to diversify.

Paleogene

Episode 45: Post K-Pg radiations

Published on June 1st, 2015 | by David Marshall

The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction was the latest of the ‘big five’ events. Approximately 75% of species went extinct, with the most notable victims being non-avian dinosaurs. But what happened afterwards? By which methods were some [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 43: Ancient DNA

Published on April 15th, 2015 | by David Marshall

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a molecule that encodes the genetic information within every species of life on earth. The information contained within the sequence of base pairs determines how any given organism develops and biologically functions. [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 41: Insects

Published on March 1st, 2015 | by David Marshall

Insects are the most abundant and diverse group on animals on the planet today. Would they therefore also be expected to have the richest fossil record? When did they first evolve and how rapid was their [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

Episode 40: Brachiopods

Published on February 1st, 2015 | by David Marshall

Brachiopods are some of the most common fossils to be found in rocks worldwide. Their thick, hard and (often) calcareous shells make them preferentially preserved in the fossil record. We probably all have found one, but [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 35: Ostracods

Published on October 16th, 2014 | by David Marshall

Ostracods are tiny crustaceans (relatives of shrimps, crabs and water-fleas), distinguished by having a shell that is easily fossilised. As microfossils, by virtue of a long and rich fossil record, ostracods are extremely useful for determining [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 34: Foraminifera and Palaeoclimatology

Published on September 15th, 2014 | by Laura Soul

Planktonic foraminifera are single celled organisms that are highly abundant in modern oceans and a hugely important part of the Earth’s carbon cycle. Each cell builds a hard calcite ‘test’ around itself in a huge variety [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 32: Canids

Published on August 5th, 2014 | by David Marshall

We’re all familiar with canines (dogs, wolves, jackals, foxes, etc), but these are just only one of three sub-families of the larger canid family to survive to the present day. There were also the Hesperocyoninae and [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 27: Mare aux Songes

Published on March 15th, 2014 | by David Marshall

One of the most iconic animals to ever have gone extinct is the dodo, Raphus cucullatus. Endemic to Mauritius, this flightless bird was last seen around 1662 and is thought to have been driven to extinction by [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 26: The Tree of Mammals

Published on February 1st, 2014 | by Joe Keating

Mammals are an incredibly diverse and highly successful group of animals. They include some of the tallest, heaviest and fastest animals around today, as well as our own species. For over 100 years, biologists have attempted [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 25: Marsupials of Riversleigh

Published on January 16th, 2014 | by Laura Soul

Continuing our look at Australia’s marsupials, we speak to Dr. Karen Black, also of the University of New South Wales. We discuss the Riversleigh fossil site, which fossils it contains, how they are preserved and what [&hellip... Read More


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