Browsing the "Paleozoic" Category

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.

Cenozoic

Episode 23: Mass extinctions

Published on December 1st, 2013 | by David Marshall

What are Mass extinctions, how are they quantified, what are the driving forces behind them, how bad were the ones in the past and will we have more in the future? To answer these questions we [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 22: Fire and Charcoal

Published on October 15th, 2013 | by David Marshall

Most people would consider fire to be an entirely destructive process, however given the right circumstances organic materials can be exquisitely preserved by charcoalification. We no doubt all know charcoal from the BBQ, but how many of [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

Episode 18: Trilobites

Published on July 1st, 2013 | by David Marshall

Trilobites are one of the most instantly recognisable groups of fossils. They were present from the very start of the Paleozoic and went on the fill a great number of ecological roles before going extinct at the Permo-Triassic [&hellip... Read More


Devonian

Episode 17: Ammonoid evolution and ecology

Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Joe Keating

Ammonoids are a diverse group of cephalopods, a group of molluscs that include squid, octopuses, cuttlefish and nautiloids. They lived for over 300 million years (from the Early Devonian – the end Cretaceous) and survived multiple [&hellip... Read More


Cambrian

Episode 12: Paleozoic Problematica

Published on February 15th, 2013 | by David Marshall

Fossils, at the best of times, are difficult to interpret. Palaeontologists attempt to reconstruct organisms from what little remains are left. This can be relatively simple for groups that we are familiar with today; you can [&hellip... Read More


Carboniferous

Episode 10: Carboniferous Arthropods

Published on January 15th, 2013 | by David Marshall

The first animals came onto land sometime before 425 Ma. These early colonizers were members of a group called the arthropods – probably early relatives of the millipedes first, followed shortly by arachnids, and then insects [&hellip... Read More


Devonian

Episode 6: Early vertebrate evolution and extinction

Published on November 1st, 2012 | by David Marshall

Vertebrates are one of the most diverse and successful groups of animals on the planet.  Modern vertebrates come in an astounding array of sizes and shapes and can be found anywhere from the deepest oceans to [&hellip... Read More


Devonian

Episode 4: The fossil forests of Gilboa

Published on October 1st, 2012 | by David Marshall

A few days after the interview in the Royal Ontario Museum with Dave Rudkin on Isotelus rex, the Palaeocast team headed south to the New York State Museum (NYSM), Albany, USA. Here we got a chance [&hellip... Read More


Ordovician

Episode 2: Isotelus rex

Published on September 1st, 2012 | by David Marshall

In June we got the opportunity to speak to Dave Rudkin, curator of arthropods at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. In our interview we covered his discovery of Isotelus rex, the world’s largest trilobite, and discussed arthropod [&hellip... Read More


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