The Paleozoic era, meaning “ancient life”, is a division of earth’s history spanning from around 541 to 252 million years ago. It is subdivided into the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous and Permian periods. The beginning of the Paleozoic is characterised by the sudden appearance of animal ecosystems following the extinction of the Precambrian Ediacaran fauna. The end of the Paleozoic is marked by the greatest mass extinction in earth’s history, following which global ecosystems were radically reorganised.

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Is the Tully Monster a Vertebrate after all?

Published on February 20th, 2017 | by David Marshall

Tullimonstrum gregarium, the ‘Tully Monster’, is an enigmatic fossil from the Late Carboniferous Mazon Creek lagerstätte, Illinois, USA. This soft-bodied animal is instantly recognisable by its ‘torpedo-shaped’ body ending in a tail; its long, elbowed, proboscis [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 71: Graptolites

Published on October 15th, 2016 | by Laura Soul

Graptolites are small colonial organisms, each made up of many tiny, genetically identical zooids joined together by tubes. They’ve been around since the Cambrian and at times in Earth’s history have been very morphologically and taxonomically [&hellip... Read More


Paleozoic

Episode 69: Fungal symbioses

Published on August 15th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Plants, Animals and fungi; these are all three of the Kingdoms of life we’re all most familiar with, but what you might not know is that fungi are more closely related to animals than they are [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 67: Blue Beach Tetrapods

Published on July 22nd, 2016 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Blue Beach is a locality in Nova Scotia, Canada that is well known for it’s fossils from the Lower Carboniferous. In particular, it is significant for being one of few sites in the world that has [&hellip... Read More


Mesozoic

Episode 64: When life nearly died

Published on May 29th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Around 250 million years ago, the largest biotic crisis the world has ever known occurred. The Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction (PTME) was an event that saw the loss of up to 95% of all species. The extinction [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 63: Return of the Tully Monster

Published on April 13th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Science is a process and so the door to the revision and refinement of hypotheses must always be left open. From the research discussed in our last episode, the newspapers would have you believe that the [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 62: The Tully Monster

Published on March 18th, 2016 | by David Marshall

Tullimonstrum gregarium, better known as the ‘Tully Monster’ is a problematic fossil from the Late Carboniferous Mazon Creek lagerstätte, Illinois, USA. The identity of this fossil has been the subject of much debate, due to its peculiar [&hellip... Read More


Paleozoic

Episode 59: Chemnitz petrified forest

Published on February 22nd, 2016 | by David Marshall

Beneath the city of Chemnitz, Germany, exists a entire fossilised forest. This whole ecosystem was preserved in life-position during a series of volcanic events. The forest is from the Permian period and thus represents a fantastic [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

Episode 58: Animal biomechanics

Published on January 15th, 2016 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

One of the most difficult aspects of palaeontology is understanding how extinct animals moved around. It’s one thing to find a fossil and reconstruct it’s morphology, but it’s completely another to put that morphology into action [&hellip... Read More


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