• Carboniferous GEO82825
  • Carboniferous tully-monster
  • Paleozoic Fig. 1
  • Cenozoic Ichthyostega-whole-side
  • Cambrian
  • Ordovician Pentecopterus image horizontal
  • Carboniferous EdaphosaurusDB
  • Cambrian JV1

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.

Carboniferous

GEO82825

Episode 63: Return of the Tully Monster

Published on April 13th, 2016 | by Dave 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

tully-monster

Episode 62: The Tully Monster

Published on March 18th, 2016 | by Dave 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

Fig. 1

Episode 59: Chemnitz petrified forest

Published on February 22nd, 2016 | by Dave 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

Ichthyostega-whole-side

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


Cambrian

Feeding and the digestive system in early animals

Published on October 29th, 2015 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

Two new studies lead by University of Bristol palaeontologist Dr. Imran Rahman (Episode 28 – From worms to stars) are helping to explain feeding and the digestive system in some early animals. His work focuses on [&hellip... Read More


Ordovician

Pentecopterus image horizontal

Episode 51: Eurypterids

Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

Eurypterids, or ‘sea-scorpions’ are an extinct group of chelicerates: the group containing the terrestrial arachnids (such as spiders and scorpions) and the aquatic ‘merostomes’ (represented today solely by the horseshoe crabs). They bear a gross-morphological resemblance [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

EdaphosaurusDB

Episode 49: Synapsids

Published on July 31st, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

Synapsids are one of the major groups of terrestrial vertebrates. They first appear in the Carboniferous period and since that time have gone through many radiation and extinction events. But what did these first stem-mammals look [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

JV1

Episode 48: The Burgess Shale

Published on July 17th, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

The Burgess Shale is probably the world’s most famous lagerstätte (site of special preservation). Discovered in 1909 on Mt. Stephen, in the Canadian Rockies of British Colombia, Canada, this locality provided an early representation of the [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

THUMBNAIL

Episode 47: Lobopodians

Published on June 29th, 2015 | by Dave Marshall

It’s been quite a week for lobopodians! First off, we’ve had the redescription of Hallucigenia by Dr Martin Smith. This enigmatic fossil from the Burgess Shale typifies the difficulty palaeontologists have had in interpreting some of [&hellip... Read More


Cenozoic

EncrustedStrophodont1

Episode 46: Understanding Biodiversity

Published on June 15th, 2015 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone

The world is currently undergoing a massive biodiversity crisis, and many people have said that we are in the next major mass extinction event, with species going extinct each day. Unfortunately, we don’t currently understand what aspects [&hellip... Read More


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